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Baroness Nicola Blackwood


Nicola became Chair of Genomics England in May 2020. She is a member of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee, and is also an Honorary Professor of Science and Public Policy at UCL. She served as the Minister for Innovation in the Department for Health and Social Care under two Prime Ministers, where her responsibilities included research, life sciences and NHS innovation; medicines pricing and regulation; data, digital and technology, including cyber security; international health diplomacy and global health security; and rare diseases.

Nicola was born in Johannesburg in 1979 to a South African nurse and an English cardiologist who were working at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. On their return to the UK, her parents worked for nearly 30 years in the NHS giving her first-hand knowledge of some of the challenges facing the health service.

She was first elected as an MP for Oxford West and Abingdon in 2010 and chaired the Science & Technology Select Committee, before becoming a Minister. She became Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford in 2019. Since leaving the Commons she has been Chair of the Human Tissue Authority, a Board Member of Oxford University Innovations’ Advisory Board, and held a number of other public and private board positions.

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