The International Relations Office is excited to announce our new Global Chairs, bringing their world-leading expertise to the University of Bath, joining us for a two-year term starting in the 2024/25 academic year.

During their time as Global Chairs, the two renowned scholars will engage in high-profile research and network-building activities at Bath, enhancing our strategic networks with overseas institutions.

Professor Steven A Farber

Johns Hopkins University

Professor of Biology at Johns Hopkins University, Professor Farber is a preeminent researcher in the unique properties of zebrafish larvae to explore the cell and molecular biology of lipids. His laboratory’s development and application of cutting-edge techniques is a recurring theme of Professor Farber’s research that continues to enable him to make ground-breaking discoveries in basic biology with relevance to the understanding of metabolic diseases. In 2020, Professor Farber was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Alongside his research, Professor Farber is an active advocate for science education. Having recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2023, Professor Farber founded the science outreach program BioEYES that utilizes zebrafish to promote science literacy and foster an enthusiasm for genetics and the experimental process in young people. Professor Farber received the 2020 ASCB Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education for his continued contribution to science outreach.

Professor Farber will be hosted by members of the Milner Centre for Evolution, Professor Philip Ingham and Professor Laurence Hurst, and Professor Robert Kelsh in the Department of Life Sciences. Professor Ingham said:

Professor Steven Farber is internationally recognised for his pioneering research into lipid metabolism in the tropical zebrafish. Through the analysis of mutant fish and the generation of unique transgenic animals that express light-emitting lipoproteins, his work is providing innovative approaches to the identification of novel compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. His appointment as a Global Chair in the Department of Life Sciences will bring a new dimension to our research and teaching capabilities. He will also contribute to the wider community through his exceptional gift for science communication; his award-winning BioEYES science outreach programme will bring the wonders of zebrafish biology to our local school students. We are very excited and honoured to host Professor Farber and look forward to many innovative and productive collaborations with him.

Prof. James Alexander Scott Kelso

Florida Atlantic University

A distinguished researcher renowned for his expertise in complex systems, cognitive science, and neuroscience, Professor James Alexander Scott Kelso is the Glenwood and Martha Creech Eminent Scholar Chair in Science and Professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. In 1985, Professor Kelso established an interdisciplinary research centre, the Centre for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, that brings together neuroscientists, applied mathematicians, physicists, psychologists, and computer scientists. Within the centre, Professor Kelso leads a team of researchers in the Human Brain and Behaviour Laboratory. Professor Kelso’s appointment as Global Chair will hugely benefit the research excellence within the Bath Institute for the Augmented Human (IAH) and associated departments and feeds into the University’s strategic research themes of Health & Well-Being and Digital.

A prolific keynote speaker, Professor Kelso is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP), as well as an Honorary Member of The Royal Irish Academy.

Professor Kelso will be hosted by one of his long-time collaborators at Bath, Director of the IAH Professor Damien Coyle, alongside other members of the IAH, including Professor Eamonn O’Neill, Professor Keith Stokes, Dr Karin Petrini and Dr Ben Metcalfe, and Dr Charles Larkin of the Institute for Policy Research. Professor Coyle said:

Professor Kelso's achievements exemplify the immense potential of interdisciplinary research, demonstrating how the fusion of diverse fields can catalyse novel insights and fundamentally transform our understanding of coordination dynamics and complex systems. As we embark on developing a multidisciplinary innovation ecosystem within the Bath Institute for the Augmented Human Prof Kelso’s talent for fostering collaboration and integrating diverse perspectives will be invaluable. Professor Kelso's expertise in complex adaptive systems will help guide our understanding of the intricate interactions between biological and artificial systems, and of human cognition in general. Prof Kelso will also contribute to the creation of ethical frameworks that guide the responsible development and deployment of human augmentation technologies. We are delighted to welcome Prof Kelso on board at this pivotal stage of the Institute’s development.