Welcome to the Thames Valley branch web pages
Chairman: Dr Ray Gibson CBiol FSB
Vice-Chairman: Dr Michael Keith-Lucas CBiol FSB
Treasurer: Mr Stephen Lewis CBiol MSB
Branch Secretary: Mr John Haspineall FSB
Dr Kerry Broom CBiol FSB
Miss Margaret Cook CBiol FSB
Mrs Doreen Dye CBiol MSB
Dr John Grainger CBiol FSB
Miss Anne Kingston CBiol MSB
Mrs Tessa Parkes MSB
Mr Jordie Roberts MSB
Meet the Thames Valley Branch Committee
KERRY BROOM BSc DPhil CBiol FSB
Kerry obtained a BSc at Brunel University in 1999 and a DPhil at Oxford University in 2004. Now a Principal Radiation Protection Scientist for the Health Protection Agency (HPA), her current responsibilities include secretariat support to the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) and experimental research studies on the biological effects of non-ionising radiation. Kerry sits on the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Biological Effects Policy Advisory Group which advises on the health effects of electromagnetic fields.
For the past 10 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.
MARGARET COOK BSc CBiol FSB
Margaret took a London external degree whilst working for the Medical Research Council (MRC) breeding inbred mice for cancer research. After a short time with a biological research organisation, she spent more than 20 years with Wyeth Laboratories engaged in general and reproductive toxicology. There followed two years at the Department of Health in the Toxicology and Environmental Health Division reviewing new submissions on sweeteners and other agents. Then she joined a contract research organisation where she established a toxicology facility evaluating preclinical studies and advised and monitored studies for other organisations. She was also responsible for quality assurance and undertook audits of investigator sites in the UK and Europe for compliance with good clinical practice (GCP). In retirement she acted as a consultant in quality assurance and toxicology in a freelance capacity.
Margaret became a member of the then IOB in 1959 and Fellow in 1986. She helped to found the Thames Valley Branch in 1972, was Branch Secretary for more than 20 years and has served three times on the Council of the IOB. She was awarded the President’s Medal in 2008.
RAY GIBSON BSc PhD CBiol FSB (Branch Chairman)
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 FSB
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.
ANNE KINGSTON BSc CBiol MSB
Anne took a BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia and began her career with research into human chromosomes with the Medical Research Council (MRC), Initially working in Edinburgh at the Western General Hospital, she moved with the group to the Department of Cancer Studies at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. Anne then joined Wyeth Laboratories for the remainder of her professional life, first in scientific information and product registration, and then as a scientist in its legal department on litigation involving e.g. the benzodiazepines, oral contraceptives, etc. She has been a member of the SB for some 40 years.
In retirement Anne became a member of Reading Classical Association and Reading Geological Society and spends the summer months following Reading Cricket Club Ladies 1st XI for whom she is scorer.
STEPHEN LEWIS BSc MSc CBiol MSB (Branch Treasurer)
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 SB 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.
Call for new Branch Committee members
The Thames Valley Branch has an active committee which for many years has organised a diverse range of events, including talks and visits, planned to appeal to our local members and give them a chance to meet, exchange ideas, network and to feed back what they would like from us.
The committee which meets 5 times a year, including an AGM, is formed of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and up to 12 others. Currently the TVB Committee has 12 members, several of whom have been with the committee for many years and some of whom are likely to retire over the next few years.
We are constantly seeking ways of increasing attendance at our meetings and therefore need to ensure that the programme of events matches your interests. To this end we are very keen to welcome new members, with new ideas, to the TVB committee and would benefit by input from members with all levels of professional experience and biological backgrounds. We feel it most important to attract younger biologists including school and university students to our meetings and want to reflect this in the committee by getting student members involved too.
Are you an enthusiastic member of the SB who would like to get involved? If so, initially, please mail us at :
Non-members are very welcome at all open Thames Valley Branch meetings. If you or anyone you know, would like to receive regular email notices of our programme, please contact Click here to send an email.