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Chancellor steps down

16 March 2017

Professor Sir Martin Evans
Professor Sir Martin Evans FRS

Professor Sir Martin Evans, FRS and Nobel prize winner is to step down as Chancellor of Cardiff University, following eight years in the role.

Sir Martin announced his decision at the University’s annual general meeting (known as Court) today (16 March 2017) having formally advised Council.

Sir Martin will remain part of the University as Emeritus Professor, an honorary title, recognising distinguished academic service.

Sir Martin was inaugurated as Chancellor (then known as President) in 2009 and took up a second term of office in 2014.

The Chancellor is the most senior of the University’s honorary officers, it is a ceremonial role, chairing Court and presiding at graduation ceremonies.

Professor Stuart Palmer, Chair of Council said: “I would like to take this opportunity to put on record our immense thanks to Sir Martin...”

“It has been an honour for the University to have our Nobel Laureate, Professor Sir Martin Evans, as the 22nd Chancellor of Cardiff University.”

Professor Stuart Palmer Chair of Council

'I have shared in the pride of all of our new graduates'

Sir Martin said: “Holding the role of Chancellor of this institution has been an honour and a privilege which I have greatly enjoyed...”

“To be part of graduation, one of the highlights in the University calendar, has been a joy.”

Professor Sir Martin Evans

“Each year I have shared in the pride of all of our new graduates who join over 145,000 alumni in more than 180 countries around the world.”

Sir Martin moved from Cambridge University in 1999 to lead the newly formed School of Biosciences in Cardiff University. He won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2007 - the most prestigious honour in world science - for “a series of ground-breaking discoveries concerning embryonic stem cells and DNA recombination in mammals.” In 2013 the University named the School of Bioscience building in his honour.

'Immense contribution to science'

Professor Colin Riordan said: “Professor Sir Martin Evans holds, to date, the only Nobel Prize to have been won by a scientist working in Wales and this is a matter of immeasurable pride for the University...”

“We are grateful for his immense contribution to science, the wide ranging benefits of his research and his service to the University.”

Professor Colin Riordan President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University

Sir Martin was the first scientist to identify embryonic stem cells, which can be adapted for a wide variety of medical purposes. His discoveries are now being applied in virtually all areas of biomedicine – from basic research to the development of new therapies. Sir Martin is heralded worldwide as "the grandfather of stem cell research" and named as one of "ten Britons who have shaped our world."

The process to set up a nominations committee to appoint the next Chancellor will commence in due course. The committee is led by the Chair of Council with membership from both Council and Court.

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Learn more about Sir Martin and the science that won the Nobel Prize.