Sir William Castell

“Genomic medicine is driving a new model of innovation – stratified medicine. The benefits of further personalising healthcare will only be maximised if we realign the management processes of translation and of regulation. Faced with a world of big data sets translated through statistics into evidence based medicine we critically need informed regulation to assure the safety and the efficacy of the results which our practising physicians should feel safe to rely upon.”

Sir William Castell LVO

Sir William Castell is Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. The Trust supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. Prior to taking up this appointment in 2006 Sir William was President and Chief Executive Officer 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 retired as a Director of the General Electric Company in April 2011. From 2006 to 2012 Sir William served as a non-executive director, and latterly senior independent director, of BP plc. He is Chairman of Ondra Partners and Chairman of Chichester Festival Theatre.

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 being head of the newly formed Wellcome Biotechnology and Head of Finance and Administration for Continental Europe, Africa and Asia.

In June 2000 a knighthood was bestowed 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 revitalise areas blighted by unemployment and social exclusion. In 1998, he was appointed Chairman of The Prince’s Trust by HRH The Prince of Wales and served in this role for five years. In January 2004, he received the honour 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 a Trustee of the Education and Employers’ Taskforce, an Honorary Fellow at Green Templeton College Oxford, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cardiff, an Honorary Fellow of King’s College London and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Sir William received his BA in Business Studies from the City of London College. Sir William’s wife Renice is a physician. They have two daughters, a son and nine grandchildren.