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Julian Huppert was the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge from 2010–2015.
He grew up in Cambridge, attending both school and University there, and stayed on to do a PhD in biological chemistry, eventually becoming a research scientist and obtaining a Lectureship in Physics at the Cambridge University Cavendish Laboratory.
Julian got involved in politics at a young age, serving as the County Councillor for East Chesterton for eight years, including a stint as Leader of the Opposition. He was Chair of the Cambridge Traffic Management Committee, and served on the East of England Regional Assembly.
Julian's work in science involved research into unusual structures of DNA. Although the double-helix structure is well known, DNA can form other shapes, and these can act as genetic switches. His work identified a number of potential new anti-cancer drugs targets. Julian also founded and was CEO of a small biotech company. Sadly, although winning a government award for innovation, it was unsuccessful.
As an MP, Julian campaigned on a very wide range of subjects, successfully securing more funding for Cambridgeshire schools and for the NHS locally, as well as helping to obtain the Greater Cambridge City Deal. He chaired the all party Parliamentary Groups on cycling and refugees, as well as serving on the Home Affairs Select Committee. His work in killing off the Communications Data Bill, known as the Snooper’s Charter, won him the title of ISPA ‘Internet Hero of the year 2013. In 2013, he also beat Jeremy Corbyn for the prestigious title of Parliamentary Beard of the Year.
He is currently back in the University of Cambridge in the Department of Politics and International Studies, working on aspects of science policy, technology policy and how evidence is used in policy making. He also teaches on the University’s Masters in Public Policy course. He is also a Lay Member and Audit Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, and is fascinated to see how the NHS works from the inside.
Gillian Secrett, CEO of The Møller Centre, interviewed Julian Huppert after the symposium.