Britain’s biggest biomedical funder, the Wellcome Trust, appointed Ted Bianco as its acting director today. Bianco, the charity’s director of technology transfer, will take the helm on 14 March, when current director Mark Walport departs to take on the role of UK chief science adviser (see ‘Britain names next chief science adviser‘).
Bianco joined Wellcome Trust in 2000 and started its technology-transfer office two years later. Before joining Wellcome, Bianco earned a PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and studied infectious diseases at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia; at Imperial College London and at the University of Liverpool, UK.
The search for Walport’s permanent replacement is at an “advanced stage”, says Craig Brierley, a press officer at Wellcome. “They want to make sure they get the right person, rather than working toward an arbitrary deadline.”
In 2012, Wellcome spent £701 million (US$1.1 billion) on grants and charitable activities, and its endowment is £14.5 billion.