Press release: Harpal Kumar appointed Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK today (Wednesday 31 January 2007) announced that Harpal Kumar has been appointed to succeed Alex Markham as the Charity’s new Chief Executive with effect from Monday 2 April 2007.

Harpal, 42, is currently Chief Operating Officer of Cancer Research UK and Chief Executive of the Charity’s fast developing subsidiary Cancer Research Technology(CRT).

At Cancer Research UK he has worked with colleagues to develop an exciting and ambitious research strategy, designed to pioneer new approaches and exploit promising new opportunities. He has also helped to position the Charity as a world-leader in drug discovery and development and trebled the income of CRT.

Prior to joining Cancer Research UK he was Chief Executive of the disability charity, The Papworth Trust and founding Chief Executive of Nexan Group, a venture capital-backed medical devices company.

Harpal graduated from the University of Cambridge with first class honours in Chemical Engineering and he subsequently gained an MBA with High Distinction as a Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School.

David Newbigging, Chairman of Cancer Research UK, said: "Harpal has an outstanding academic record, added to which he has proved himself to be an excellent leader within Cancer Research UK.

"Harpal also had a very successful earlier career in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors and he possesses the drive, energy and leadership qualities to build on Cancer Research UK’s successes. He will continue to execute our strategy of developing the Charity’s full range of activities in the coming years, aspiring for excellence in all we do."

Harpal Kumar said: "I’m delighted and honoured to be appointed Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK. I’m passionate about our vision to beat cancer and the ambitious goals we are setting ourselves for the future.

"This is perhaps the most exciting period in the last fifty years in terms of our rapidly improving understanding of cancer and the progress we are making in beating it.

One in three of us will get cancer at some point in our lives but thanks to our world-leading scientists and our ground-breaking work on all aspects of cancer, thousands more people are beating the disease every year. I look forward to building on that achievement."

ENDS

To request a photograph or an interview with Harpal Kumar please contact the Cancer Research UK Press Office on 020 7061 8300.

Notes to Editor

Harpal Kumar was born in 1965. He gained a first class Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MBA with high distinction as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School.

In 1989 he joined the London office of McKinsey and Co, specialising in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. In 1993 he was appointed Chief Executive of The Papworth Trust. In 1997 he became founding Chief Executive of the Nexan Group. He joined Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) as Chief Executive in October 2002.

He was appointed to the additional post of Chief Operating Officer of the Charity in 2004. He lives in North London and is married to a lawyer. They have two young children. His full biography is available here.