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Welcome to the regional pages for Thames Valley. Full details of national and local events are available on our events pages.


Upcoming branch events

Watch this space for upcoming branch events.

Visit the reports section to find out about past events the branch have run.

Social media

Visit our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram (rsb_thames_valley) for more branch and regional news.

Our members

Visit the branch map and branch demographics to see the numbers and locations of our members (Dated January 2020).


Chair and Treasurer: Mr Ken Allen CBiol FRSB
Vice-Chair: Mr Stephen Lewis CBiol MRSB
Secretary: Professor Ian Michael Hunneyball CBiol FRSB

Members: Dr Kerry Broom CBiol FSRB, Irene Feliciotti MRSB, Dr Ray Gibson CBiol FRSB, Hannah Goldwag, Dr John Grainger CBiol FRSB, Leah Napier AMRSB.

Contact details

Non-members are very welcome at all open Thames Valley meetings and events. If you or anyone you know, would like to receive regular email notices of our programme, please get in touch by emailing us at

Join us

The Thames Valley branch are currently recruiting for new committee members! Why not check out what it involves and send a quick application to

Meet the committee

Ray Gibson BSc PhD CBiol FRSB

Ray gained his BSc in botany and PhD in fungal physiology from the University of Nottingham where he held both College and University teaching posts before moving to a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship on fungal viruses at Manchester University. In 1978 he joined a research group at the MOD Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down, Wiltshire, where he held a National Research & Development Corporation Senior Research Fellowship on the genetic manipulation of yeasts.

This led to a 25 years career with Cadbury Schweppes plc. First as a senior scientist at the PHLS Centre for applied Microbiology and Research, Porton Down, after which in 1985 he transferred to the company's Group Research Centre at the University of Reading, initially responsible for co-ordinating the Centre's research programme in biotechnology, microscopy and IT. In 1987 he became a founding director of Reading Scientific Services Ltd. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes and now Kraft Foods, RSSL provides scientific and technical services to the Food & Pharmaceutical Industries. Ray was its Business & Strategic Development Director until his retirement in 2005.

Ray joined the Institute of Biology in 1982 and served on the Biologist Editorial Board 1987-90. He joined the Thames Valley branch committee in 1986 and was its vice chairman from 1998-2012, when he became branch chairman. He was elected to Fellowship of the Society of Biology in 2009.

John Grainger BSc PhD CBiol FRSB

John came to the University of Reading in 1957 to study for a PhD in microbiology following a BSc in bacteriology at the University of Birmingham. This was followed by appointment to the academic staff at Reading and development of research programmes in environmental microbiology encompassing studies on soil, agricultural waste and municipal refuse. His career progressed to a Senior Lectureship and then to Head of Department.

An interest in promoting microbiology in schools led to the founding of the National Centre for Biotechnology Education (NCBE) at Reading and activities abroad including membership of the management committee of the European Initiative for Biotechnology Education (EIBE). He was awarded the Peter Wildy Prize for Education in Microbiology by the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) in 2002. Now retired, John is a Visiting Research Fellow at Reading and a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the University. His work for schools continues, principally through being Chairman of the Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee (MiSAC).

He joined the then IOB in 1980, was elected to Fellowship in 1990, is a past chairman of the Thames Valley branch and has served on Council.

Professor Ian Hunneyball BSc PhD FRSB

Ian has a BSc in Medical Biochemistry and a PhD in Experimental Pathology from the University of Birmingham. He continued his research at Birmingham with post-doctoral studies on the aetiology and pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Ian is currently Senior Vice President, Programme Management & Clinical Operations for Evotec (UK) Ltd., based in Milton Park, Oxfordshire. In this role, he is part of a team establishing early clinical development activities within Evotec. His current focus is supporting the oncology research and development activities within Evotec and providing research and development advice to other in-house therapeutic areas as well as Evotec’s partners and external companies. Ian also holds the position of Honorary Professor in Biomedical Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University.

Prior to joining Evotec, Ian was Head of Research & Development for Entomed S. A., a French biotech company discovering and developing novel anti-microbial agents. Before that, he was Director of Research & Development for BASF Pharma in Nottingham. Previously he held various leadership roles with Boots Pharmaceuticals in the UK and USA, ultimately becoming global Director of Research and Development. Ian has over 40 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry covering all aspects of pharmaceutical research, development and regulatory activities across all therapeutic areas.

Ian joined the Institute of Biology as a Fellow in 1989 and became a member of the East Midlands Branch. On his return to the UK in 2003, he joined the Thames Valley Branch; he was elected Branch Secretary in 2019.

Stephen Lewis BSc MSc CBiol MRSB

Stephen gained his qualifications in biochemistry at the University of Wales (BSc) and the University of London (MSc). After working in fermentation research for antibiotic production, he moved into the field of contamination control and sterility control of processes in the medical device, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. This involved design and operation of clean rooms and assessment and elimination of contamination of environments, materials, services, equipment and personnel activities. It also included close involvement in documentation to support Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), including control of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and validation of systems.

Stephen has been a member of the Society for more than 20 years. Before joining the branch committee and subsequently becoming treasurer, he was on the committee of the Parenteral Society (now the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Sciences Society) and also a member of its working party on standards for environmental contamination for processes and organiser of events including the Annual Conference and seminars.

Ken Allen FLS CBiol FRSB

Ken has had a long career in the worldwide healthcare industry including medical devices, clinical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems with experience of overseas markets, particularly Japan.

Ken has been a director of his own business consultancy company SERVSOL LTD since 1998, specialising in project/interim management work both in the public and private sectors.

As Interim Chief Executive, Ken managed the merger of the IOB and the BSF to create the Society of Biology. Prior to that he was National Branches Coordinator of the IOB and has been Chairman of the London Branch, Treasurer of the North Wales Branch and is currently treasurer of the Thames Valley Branch. For his work, Ken was awarded the Society’s President’s Medal.

Kerry Broom BSc DPhil CBiol FRSB

Kerry obtained a BSc at Brunel University in 1999 and a DPhil at Oxford University in 2004. Now a Principal Radiation Protection Scientist for Public Health England. Her job involves experimental research studies on the biological effects of non-ionising radiation. The research involves molecular biology techniques to study gene expression and immunohistochemistry to study the brain’s response to exposure to electromagnetic fields. Other research interests in the Nitric Oxide pathway in cells. She has supervised a number of PhD students jointly with the University of Oxford.

Kerry’s previous responsibilities have included scientific secretariat support to the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE). Kerry sat on the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Biological Effects Policy Advisory Group which advised on the health effects of electromagnetic fields until 2016 when the committee closed. For the past 20 years, Kerry has worked with schools as a STEM Ambassador in the Oxfordshire area. She joined the branch committee in 2007 and was elected to Fellowship of the Society in 2010. She currently represents (jointly with Ray Gibson) the Thames Valley branch at the Society’s Branches Working Group.

Hannah Goldwag

Hannah is a third-year University of Bristol student, reading Neuroscience BSc. She first got involved with the Royal society of Biology during her A-levels. She attended lots of the events and was inspired by some of the members to pursue academia. As a result of her participation, Hannah was elected a committee member in 2018. She is particularly interested in helping young people achieve their potential. In 2018 Hannah arranged for a talk to be given by Dr Kerry Broom of the committee branch for a local secondary school and sixth form. The talk focused on the potentials in academia and science for students from all backgrounds and current academic abilities. Hannah also volunteers tutoring pupils with English as a second language, to prevent this becoming a barrier to their education.
Writing an article for the Royal society of Biology magazine, “The Biologist” spurred on Hannah’s interest in science writing. Particularly from the perspective of being able to convey scientific findings in a way that is beneficial to the public and academics from other fields. Hannah has gained skills in the lab through an internship analysing serial block phase electron microscopy, to aid investigation into links between long term plasticity, depression and sleep. In her own time Hannah focuses on competition based martial arts.


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