The row over plans to relocate Britain's National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) could jeopardize attempts to recruit a new director for the institute, a leading scientist warned yesterday.

On Monday (January 10), Stephen Tomlinson told an inquiry into the plans that it was essential to go ahead with the move, or it would become difficult to find a successor to current NIMR director John Skehel, who retires in September 2006.

Tomlinson, deputy vice-chancellor of Cardiff University, told the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, which is conducting the inquiry, that it was too late to go back and start considering the options all over again.

"It's essential that we crack on and accept the Medical Research Council's decisions [to relocate]. I think it is particularly important to set the scene for beginning to recruit a successor to Sir John," Tomlinson said. "If there is any uncertainty over...

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