Our Trustees

Cancer Research UK, a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, is governed by a Council of Trustees, the Charity’s board of directors.

Council’s role is to set the Charity’s strategic direction, monitor the delivery of the Charity’s objects, uphold its values and governance and guide, advise and support the Chief Executive, who leads the Senior Management Team towards achieving the Charity’s vision and purpose.

The Council of Trustees is led by the Chair, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

We maintain a register of interests and in line with Charity Commission guidance, this is available upon request from the Company Secretary (secretariat@cancer.org.uk). Please see the link on the right to download our Articles of Association.


Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz FRS MA PhD FRCP FMedSci (Chair)   

Appointed 2016.  Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz was appointed as a Trustee in July 2016 and as Chair in November 2016.  Following a distinguished academic and clinical research career and prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge in 2010 until 2017, Sir Leszek’s roles included Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council and Deputy Rector of Imperial College London.  He was also a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.  His work in vaccines included Europe’s first trial of a therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus to treat cervical cancer, research conducted at the University of Cardiff and funded by Cancer Research UK.  He also serves on the board of UKRI and the governing board of The Courtauld Institute of Art.  He was knighted in 2001 for his pioneering work in vaccines. 


Tracy De Groose LLB (Deputy Chair)

Appointed 2018.  Tracy De Groose has broad marketing and commercial experience in leadership roles across the creative industries.  Until recently, Tracy was chair of Newsworks, the marketing arm for the UK news publishing industry.  Prior to that Tracy was chief executive of Dentsu UK & Ireland with P&L responsibility for over 20 media, digital and data businesses and 4,000 people, working with a diverse range of clients including Disney, Diageo, Asda and the UK government.  In 2020, Tracy founded ‘Brilliant Misfits' to advise the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs to help accelerate positive change.  Tracy prioritises time to mentor, support and guide emerging talent and was invited to join the World Economic Forum's innovation and entrepreneurship council 2015-2017. 


Bayo Adelaja   

Appointed 2021.  Bayo Adelaja is Founder and CEO of the open innovation racial justice organisation Do it Now Now, working with the likes of The British Council, ASOS, Google for Startups, Purpose and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support underserved communities.  She also currently sits on the People and Remuneration Committee at Royal Voluntary Service, advising on the development of key anti-racism and inclusion strategies to empower stakeholders across the charity. Bayo built her first tech start-up whilst reading English Literature at Durham University. After graduating she took on a role as a parliamentary assistant, becoming the youngest professional working at the House of Commons at the time.  She went on to complete master's degrees in Health, Population and Society, and Culture and Society respectively, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  Bayo also sits on Access - The Foundation for Social Investment's Flexible Finance Investment Committee and is a Trustee at Prince's Trust International and Centre for London.  In 2020 she was recognised by the Mayor of London's Pay It Forward campaign as one of the top five people supporting the City's business community.


Carolyn Bradley MA (Cantab)

Appointed 2015.  Carolyn Bradley has extensive marketing and commercial experience from her executive career with Tesco, where her roles included Group Brand Director, UK Marketing Director, and Chief Operating Officer for Tesco.com.  She is now a non-executive Director of the SSP Group plc, B&M Value Retail S.A., Majid Al Futtaim Retail LLC and The Mentoring Foundation.  In addition, she is a member of the Advisory Board for the Cambridge Judge Business School and is Chair of The Works plc.  Carolyn graduated from Cambridge University before joining Tesco, where she led many innovations such as the Clubcard loyalty scheme, the ‘Every Little Helps’ service campaign and the grocery home delivery business.  Carolyn has also been a Trustee for the DrinkAware Trust. 


Catherine Brown LLB (Hons)

Appointed 2015.  Catherine Brown has broad experience in strategy and organisational change, having previously been Group Strategy Director of Lloyds Banking Group, Executive Director HR of the Bank of England, and Chief Operating Officer of Apax Partners.  She is a non-executive director and chair of the remuneration committees of Metro Bank plc and QBE (UK) Ltd.  She sits on the board of FNZ (UK), a private equity backed financial services technology company, and is Chairman of Additive Flow Ltd. Catherine was a non-executive board member of the Cabinet Office until March 2020.  She is a trustee of Blue Cross and also has charity projects across the Himalayan region.  She spent her early career as a banker before joining McKinsey and subsequently ran her own management consultancy for five years before moving into private equity at Apax Partners. 


Peter Chambré

Appointed 2016.  Peter Chambré is Chair of Cancer Research Technology Ltd, the commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK and Immatics N.V., a company developing new cancer immunotherapy treatments. He has been a director of a number of public and private healthcare and life science companies, and was Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Antibody Technology plc from 2002 until its acquisition by AstraZeneca in July 2006. Peter is a Director of Our Future Health. 


Dr Robert Easton BSc ARCS DPhil FCGI (Treasurer)

Appointed 2020.  Dr Robert Easton is a former Partner of Carlyle, the global alternative asset management company.  During his 19 years at the firm he performed a number of roles as an investment professional, being a fund head in buyout and technology investing, while serving on multiple portfolio company boards.  Robert is a past Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association and a serial investor in technology driven, small and start-up businesses. He has had a variety of engagements with the higher education sector at Oxford University, where until recently he was a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, as well as at Imperial College.  In addition to being a Trustee of CRUK, Robert is a Fellow of the British Heart Foundation and a Trustee of the Young Vic Theatre and funds causes in science, sport, music, higher education, conservation and sub-Saharan Africa. 


Professor Nic Jones PhD FMedSci

Appointed 2020.  Professor Nic Jones is currently Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC), a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the Christie NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Manchester.  He was Director of the MCRC for 12 years from its inception in 2006 and oversaw its development into one of the foremost comprehensive cancer centres in Europe.  In addition, from 2011-2016, Nic was the CRUK Chief Scientist with responsibility for overseeing the scientific strategy of the organisation.  Nic was also previously the Director of the CRUK Manchester Institute and led a research team investigating specific signalling pathways implicated in cancer development and growth.  


Professor Pamela Kearns PhD FRCPCH

Appointed 2021.  Professor Pamela Kearns is Chair of Clinical Paediatric Oncology at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital.  She is Director of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and Director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU).  As Director of CRCTU, she leads the research strategy for one of UK's largest cancer trials unit, delivering a trials portfolio of over 100 multi-centre & international cancer trials for a wide range of cancers, occurring in all children, young people and adults.  She was elected President of the European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe) in 2019, having been a Board member since 2013.  She has several European roles including Executive Board Member of the academic consortium ‘Innovative Therapeutics in Childhood Cancer’ (ITCC), Chair of ITCC’s European Sponsor Institutions Committee and Steering Committee member of the International multi-stakeholder platform ‘ACCELERATE’.  Her research interests are focussed on drug development and innovation of design and delivery of clinical trials for childhood cancers.  She was also a Senior Clinical Advisor to Cancer Research UK from 2015 to 2020 and is a Trustee of a Child of Mine, a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved parents. 


Andrew Palmer FCA 

Appointed 2014.  Andrew Palmer was formerly Group Finance Director of Legal & General plc where he had also held a number of financial and operational roles in the asset management, insurance and international businesses.  He was Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at Royal London Group plc until March 2020 and a non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at Direct Line Group plc until May 2018.  Until April 2013 Andrew had been Senior Independent Director of SEGRO, the Industrial REIT.  Andrew is also a Trustee and Chair of the Royal School of Needlework.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.


Professor Sir Bruce Ponder FRCP FMedSci FRS

Appointed 2015.  Professor Sir Bruce Ponder is Emeritus Professor of Oncology at Cambridge and a Senior Group Leader in the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.  He was formerly Li Ka Shing Professor of Oncology, Founding Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute and of the Cambridge Cancer Centre, and co-Director of both the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre and of the Strangeways Research Laboratories for Genetic Epidemiology.  Bruce Ponder trained in internal medicine in London, and then did his PhD at ICRF (now the Francis Crick Institute).  He trained in Medical Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University.  His clinical and research career was in the genetics of susceptibility to cancer.  Over the past 20 years he has led the development of a new laboratory and clinical centre for cancer research in Cambridge.  Milestones have been the establishment of the Strangeways Laboratories for Genetic Epidemiology in 1997, the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre in 2001, the CRUK Cambridge Institute in 2007, and the designation of Cambridge as a CRUK Major Cancer Centre in 2015.  He was knighted in 2008 for ‘services to medicine’. 


Professor Sir Mike Richards CBE MD FRCP FRCR (Hon) FRCPath (Hon) FRCSEd (Hon)

Appointed 2017.  Professor Sir Mike Richards was appointed the First Chief Inspector of Hospitals for England at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in July 2013.  He retired in July 2017.  He was Director for Reducing Premature Mortality at NHS England (2012-13) and National Cancer Director at the Department of Health (1999-2013).  Prior to these appointments he was a consultant and reader in Medical Oncology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust (1986-1995) and Professor of Palliative Medicine (1995-1999).  He was appointed CBE in 2001 and Knight Batchelor in 2010 for ‘services to medicine’.  Recently he has led two major reviews for NHS England, one on adult screening services (2019) and the second on diagnostic services in the NHS (2020). 


Joanne Shaw

Appointed 2020.  Joanne Shaw is a qualified accountant with a broad commercial, public and third sector background.  As past Chair of NHS Direct, she has a particular interest in the use of mobile and digital channels for health and medicines, and the changing relationship between individuals, their own health and their health care providers.  She is currently a director of Vitality, the shared value insurance provider and Chair Designate (from November 2021) of the Royal College of Paediatrics &Child Health.  She has chaired the Audit and Risk Committees of NHS England, the National Audit Office and the Money Advice Service.  Past non-executive positions include Deputy Chair of Nuffield Health and Chair of the British Equestrian Federation. 


Professor Moira Whyte OBE PhD FRCP FRCPE FMedSci FRSE

Appointed 2020.  Professor Moira Whyte is Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the Sir John Crofton Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.  She was formerly Director of the MRC/University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research and Head of Edinburgh Medical School.  She is a member of MRC Strategy Board and Chair of the MRC Training and Careers Group and is also Chair of Sub-panel 1 (Clinical Medicine) for the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF)2021. Her research interests are in basic mechanisms of innate immunity in the context of chronic lung diseases. 


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