William M. Castell


The Wellcome Trust

William M. Castell has served on NBR’s Board of Directors since 2006. Sir William is Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s largest biomedical research charities. The mission of the trust is to foster and promote research with the aim of improving human and animal health. Assets of the trust are around £13 billion and annual expenditure is approaching £500 million. Prior to taking up this appointment Sir William was President and Chief Executive Office of GE Healthcare, the global medical diagnostics and biosciences business of the General Electric Company, of which he was also a Vice Chairman. Sir William remains a Director of the General Electric Company, he is a Non-executive Director of British Petroleum, and he serves as a trustee of London’s Natural History Museum.

Before its acquisition by GE in April 2004, Sir William was Chief Executive of Amersham plc. During his tenure with Amersham, he successfully oversaw a major expansion of the business through organic growth and acquisitions, culminating in 1997 with the mergers of Amersham International with Pharmacia Biotech and Nycomed ASA. The resulting business, Amersham plc, was a world leader in in vivo medical diagnostics and life sciences research technologies.

Prior to joining Amersham, Sir William held various positions with the Wellcome Foundation. In 1986 he was appointed Commercial Director, Wellcome plc. Previous positions with Wellcome included head of newly formed Wellcome Biotechnology and head of Finance and Administration for Continental Europe, Africa, and Asia.

In June 2000 Sir William was knighted for his services to the life sciences industry. A strong proponent of business being active in society, Sir William participated in Business in the Community’s work to revitalize areas blighted by unemployment and social exclusion. In 1998 he was appointed Chairman of the Prince’s Trust by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and served in this role for five years. In January 2004, he received the honor Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order for services to the royal family.

Sir William served as a member of the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council from 2001 to 2004, he is an Honorary Fellow at Green College, University of Oxford, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cardiff. In 2004 he received the honorary degree Doctor of Social Sciences from Brunel University and later the same year received Honorary Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2005 he received the honorary degree Doctor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford and in 2006 became an Honorary Fellow of King’s College London.

Sir William received his BA in Business Studies from the City of London College. He and his wife, Renice, have two daughters and a son.

He joined the NBR Board of Directors in 2006.

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