Skip to content

Ruth McKernan

Dr Ruth McKernan CBE FMedSci

Dr Ruth McKernan CBE FMedSci


Ruth McKernan joined Innovate UK as Chief Executive in May 2015. Ruth has 25 years of research and commercial experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including heading up research units in the UK and the US. She is a member of the Science, Industry and Translation Committee of the Royal Society, a member of Cancer Research UK and previously a Council Member for the Medical Research Council. Ruth has held previous roles as Senior Vice President, Pfizer and Head of the Merck Neuroscience Research Centre.

Ruth has a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from King’s College, London and spent two years in San Diego on a Fulbright Scholarship.  She has more than 120 scientific papers and 15 patents.  

Her hobbies include science writing; she won a Science Writer of the Year award for articles in the Independent and published her first book ‘Billy’s Halo’ in 2005.

Ruth was awarded a CBE in 2013 for services to Business, Innovation and Skills.  



Science, Industry and Translation CommitteeMay 2014 - December 2018Member
Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.