Walport is currently director of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving healthcare research. Before joining the trust, he was Professor of Medicine and head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London.
Walport has also been a member of the prime minister’s council for science and technology since 2004, and is on the advisory board of Infrastructure UK and a non-executive member of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research.
He has reviewed data-sharing practices for the UK government, and is currently co-chairing one of the prime minister’s Champion Groups into dementia research.
Sir Mark said: “I look forward to working with colleagues both inside and outside government to ensure that the best possible advice can be provided from the most expert sources, based on the strongest evidence, to facilitate the wisest possible policy decisions.”
Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood said he is “looking forward to the contribution Mark will make in leading the science community across government, building on the great work of Sir John Beddington.”