Dr. Martina Newell-McGoughlin
Martina Newell-McGloughlin is Executive Director of the Science Office under ASPIRE, the dedicated technology programme management pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), which was set up in May 2020 to shape the Emirate’s R&D strategy.
As part of her larger mission to drive the creation of future transformative technologies in Abu Dhabi, Martina directs R&D strategy, oversees research funding for Abu Dhabi’s higher-education sector, develops national and global collaborations with leading research institutions and helps with the identification, design and development of solutions for major research challenges.
Earlier she was the division director for research, innovation and knowledge at the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), where she helped establish the Abu Dhabi R&D Authority that supported funding for competitive research, drafted legislation for the establishment and raised over AED1 billion in funds.
Prior to this, she served as Director of two University of California systemwide research programs, the Biotechnology Research and Education Program (UCBREP) and the Life Sciences Informatics Program LSI). For the directorship of UCBREP, she followed in the footsteps of the founder, Nobel Laureate Paul Berg of UCLA. These programs covered all 10 University of California campuses and the three affiliated national laboratories. She also was involved in the creation of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) modelled on the NSF, was a founding member of the board of directors and chaired its grants sub-board for 13 years awarding over €5B.
An internationally recognised authority on biotechnology, Martina has been involved in the field for over 30 years, has given over 300 invited presentations worldwide on the subject, and has published and edited numerous papers, articles, and seven books, including The Evolution of Biotechnology: From Natufians to Nanotechnology, and Food and You: Feeding the World with Modern Agricultural Biotechnology.
She has won many awards and accolades including the highest University of California Academic Federation award, the James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award; the Irish-American Science award, and was nominated for the Boyle Medal, the highest award in International Irish Science Research.