Alan qualified in Biochemistry and postgraduate Business Administration, & holds Fellowships and Chartered status of both The UK Royal Society of Biology and The Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Member of the Institute of Directors, and spent more than 30 years with Inveresk Research (subsequently Charles River Laboratories) in Edinburgh, initially in practical Safety of Medicines research, then Operations Management, and occupied the position of Commercial Director for the latter 10 years, through the periods of Management Buyout, USA NASDAQ IPO (at multi-million dollar level) and subsequent mergers. At that point, the Company employed some 1,000 staff locally and was attracting International Research business largely from Northern Continental Europe, USA & Japan. Alan travelled extensively in these territories, where he had responsibility for Commercial staff. He retired early from this, and from Convenership of the Statutory General Council (Advisory Board) at Edinburgh University, at the age of 55 in 2008.
He is now Trustee of Educational Charities and three significant Pension Funds; is President of the Edinburgh Angus Association & Chairs both the Edinburgh University SBS Pension Trustees, and the UK Royal Society of Biology Pension Trust. He was until 2009 Treasurer of the UK Institute of Biology, & Immediate-Past-President of Edinburgh University Graduates' Association. He was Chair of the Board of Marketing Edinburgh Ltd until retirement in 2014, and holds other non-executive and advisory positions with Biosciences Organisations, including until 2014 the Advisory Board of the Scottish Life Sciences Association and until 2015, the Board of CXR Biosciences Ltd. He currently Chairs the Boards of Directors of both Clyde Biosciences Ltd, and Fios Genomics Ltd.
Alan sits as an appointed University Governor and Trustee on the Governing Court of the University of Edinburgh, where he is appointed to Nominations, Remuneration and Exception Committees, and is Convener of Audit and Risk Committee of the University. He is also a Member of The Edinburgh Merchant Company.
Locally, Alan has lived in Edinburgh since studying at Edinburgh University in the 1970s, and currently lives in the New Town where he is an active member of the Residents' Association, and other Groups and Clubs, including The New Club. He is an Arts and Music enthusiast, and is a named Patron of Edinburgh Festivals Theatre Trust, The National Museum of Scotland, The Edinburgh International Festival and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.