Pope Francis has appointed Solihull-born Cambridge Professor Sir David Charles Baulcombe to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. 

Professor Baulcombe is a botanist, on the faculty of the Department of Plant Sciences at Cambridge University in the UK. He was born on April 7, 1952 in Solihull and studied at the Universities of Leeds and Edinburgh, obtaining his PhD.

Professor Baulcombe has taught at various universities. His research has focused on genetic regulation, discovering how gene expression can be regulated at the level of ribonucleic acid (RNA) during normal development and disease resistance.

Since 2017 he has been Professor of Research at the Royal Society and Professor of Botany in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

He has received several awards in the scientific field.

Professor Sir David Baulcombe said:

"It is a privilege to join the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and contribute to its work. I became a scientist because I was convinced that the well-being of mankind depends on a good understanding of the natural world. I still hold that view after forty years in research but I can now additionally appreciate that scientific understanding is not enough.

"We need to use our understanding equitably and sustainably for the benefit of mankind and the environment. I hope, as a member of the Pontifical Academy, to help us meet that challenge."

 Pontifical University of Sciences