Barry Whyte has more than 20 years of international experience in communications for the life sciences, including roles in the public and private sectors. Leadership positions include Vice President of Communications and Public Relations at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the United States, Head of Communications at the European Molecular Biology Organization in Heidelberg, Germany, and Head of Strategic Communications at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, a 15-year-old, 240-personnel organization that focuses on informatics and biomedical research. He also serves on the communications and institute-wide advisory review panels of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. Previous roles include consultant for early- to mid-stage life science companies at Rochat & Partners in Geneva, Switzerland, and editor at two international scientific journals.
Barry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Bristol in England. In 1989, he completed a Ph.D. in biochemistry before moving to University of California, Davis, to take up a position as a postdoctoral researcher. From 1996 to 1997, he served as Secretary of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biology and Molecular Biology and the Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature, a position that brought him into close contact with leading researchers in bioinformatics and biotechnology. He is fascinated by the question of what it takes to build a world-class interdisciplinary research organization.