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Fellows Directory

Peter Rigby

Professor Peter Rigby FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2010


Peter Rigby is a molecular biologist who has made important discoveries relating to how cancers arise. By comparing DNA from different sources, Peter studied the ways in which cancer-causing viruses transform normal cells into tumour cells and showed how to identify genes of importance to this process.

His more recent research focuses on finding out how genes are switched on and off during embryonic development, particularly in skeletal muscle. His investigation of the MYF5 gene helped to explain the controls that act on closely linked genes. He also improved our understanding of the regulation of the RNA polymerase III enzyme, whose RNA products contribute to cell growth, maintenance and reproduction.

Peter has received much recognition for his research. He served as Chief Executive of the Institute of Cancer Research for 12 years and is now a Governor of the Wellcome Trust and Chair of the Board of Trustee Directors of the Babraham Institute. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a member of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organization.

Professional positions

Chair of the Board of Trustee Directors, Babraham Institute
Member of Council, Marie Curie
Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, Oxford Gene Technology
Professor Emeritus of Developmental Biology, Section of Gene Function and Regulation
Board of Governers Member, Wellcome Trust

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Skeletal muscle development