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, Lord Simon Stevens.

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.

Lord Stevens of Birmingham, Kt (Chair)   

Appointed 2023. Simon is Chair of Cancer Research UK. He is an independent member of the House of Lords and was Chief Executive of NHS England for seven years before that. He is also Chair of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the incoming Chair of Council of King's College London. He previously led health services in a number of countries internationally and was the UK Government's Health Adviser at the Department of Health and 10 Downing Street. Simon is also a director of the Commonwealth Fund of New York and has been a trustee of the Kings Fund and the Nuffield Trust. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and of Balliol College Oxford, with honorary doctorates from the universities of Birmingham and Strathclyde. He was educated at Oxford and Strathclyde universities, was a Harkness Fellow at Columbia University, and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. In 2020 he was knighted for services to health and the NHS and became a crossbench peer in 2021. 

Tracy De Groose LLB (Deputy Chair)

 Appointed 2018. Tracy has extensive commercial experience working as a CEO in the creative industries. Most recently, Tracy was Executive Chair of Newsworks, promoting the UK’s £5bn news industry. Prior to that Tracy was Chief Executive of marketing services group, Dentsu UK, with P&L responsibility for £2.5b advertising revenue. In 2020, Tracy founded ‘Brilliant Misfits’ to coach and mentor the next generation of trailblazing leaders looking to make a difference in the world. Tracy is a Speaker for Schools and was a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future’s Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2015-2017.

Professor Doreen Cantrell CBE, FRS, FRSE, FMedSci  

 Appointed 2022. Doreen Cantrell is Professor of Cellular Immunology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee.  Her research interests are in the molecular mechanisms that control the function of lymphocytes and between 1987-2002 she led an immunology research group at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute.  In 2002 she moved to the University of Dundee as a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow.  She was Head of the College of Life Sciences and Vice Principal of the University of Dundee from 2010 to 2016.  Past roles include being a member of MRC Council and being Chair of the Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship Committee and Chair of the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance Early Fellowship Committee.  She was also Chair of the Biological Sciences Sub-panel for the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 and was appointed CBE in 2014 for services to Life Sciences.

Peter Chambré

Appointed 2016. Peter Chambré is a Trustee of Cancer Research UK and Chair of Cancer Research Horizons, the commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK.  He is also Chair of 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 2006.  Peter is a Director of Our Future Health. 

Dr Robert Easton BSc ARCS DPhil FCGI (Treasurer)

Appointed 2020Dr 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’s had a variety of engagements with the higher education sector at Oxford University, where he served as a Pro-Vice-Chancellor 2017-2020, as well as at Imperial College’s Business School.  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 Gerard Evan PhD, FRS, FMedSci, FAACR

 Appointed 2022Gerard gained his BA in Biochemistry at Oxford, his PhD in Molecular Immunology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and then an MRC post-doctoral Fellow at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he developed his abiding interest in the molecular biology of cancer.  He returned to the UK to take up a Research Fellowship at Downing College, Cambridge and an Assistant Professorship at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.  

In 1988, he joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London as a Senior, then Principal Scientist, and from 1996-9 concurrently held the Royal Society’s Napier Research Professorship in Cancer Biology at UCL.  In 1999, he relocated to San Francisco as a Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research at UCSF, returning to Cambridge UK in 2009 as Sir William Dunn Chair of Biochemistry.  In May 2022 he moved to the Francis Crick Institute as a Principal Group Leader and appointed Professor of Cancer Biology at Kings College, London.  

Gerard’s research focuses on defining the molecular aberrations that underpin genesis and maintenance of cancers, with particular (although not exclusive) emphasis on cancers of pancreas, lung and liver.

Professor Nic Jones PhD FMedSci

Appointed 2020Professor 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.  

Rakshit Kapoor

  Appointed 2023Rakshit is currently the Global Chief Data Officer for Chubb Insurance, one of the largest Property and Casualty insurance companies in the world.  He is leading the charge on being committed to enabling digital businesses, as well as advancing the management of and availability of data to the businesses.

Rakshit was previously at Santander UK Bank in London, where he was their Chief Data Officer, responsible for data strategy, management, infrastructure, and architecture, as well as Santander's Europe data transformation plan.  Before joining Santander, Rakshit was seconded to NHS England as their Interim National Director of Data supporting them on their long term Data Strategy and Data Architecture agenda. 

Prior to NHS England, Rakshit served as the Group Chief Data Officer for HSBC from 2017-2020 in London.  His previous data expertise includes assignments with Travelers, JP Morgan Chase, and TIAA in the USA where he spent 22 years in various Data, Digital and Technology leadership roles. 

Professor Pamela Kearns PhD FRCPCH

Appointed 2021. Professor Pam 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 was Director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU) from 2011-2023.

She was President of the European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe) from 2019 -2021 and continues to serve on the SIOP Europe Board.  She is currently President of the academic consortium ‘Innovative Therapeutics in Childhood Cancer’ (ITCC) and is a Board and Steering Committee member of the International multi-stakeholder platform ‘ACCELERATE’.  Her research interests are focussed of 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 Chair of the Board of Trustees of a Child of Mine, a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved parents. She Chairs both the Research Assessment Panel for GOSH Charity and the Independent Scientific Advisory Panel for Bone Cancer Research Trust. She is also a Scientific Advisor to Children with Cancer UK and a Trusted Advisor to the Little Princess Trust.

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

Appointed 2017. 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).  He was appointed Chair of the UK National Screening Committee in 2022.

Joanne Shaw

Appointed 2020Joanne 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 Deputy Chair of Vitality UK, the shared value insurance provider and Chair of Trustees at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.  She is a non-executive director of CVS Group plc, the international veterinary services group.  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.

Hitesh Thakrar

 Appointed 2023. Hitesh Thakrar is a partner at Syncona venture fund, sits on various boards including Alan Turing Institute and UKRI-STFC Council, chairing the STFC Innovation Board. He is also Chair of the Health Innovation Network AHSN for South London. He brings over two decades of experience in global public equities, including managing innovation funds for asset management companies Aviva and ADIA.  Hitesh has a degree in chemistry from King’s College London and is interested in the convergence of life science with other innovation led sectors.

Professor Dame Moira Whyte OBE PhD FRCP FRCPE FMedSci FRSE

Appointed 2020. Professor Dame Moira Whyte is the Sir John Crofton Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and from 2017-2023 Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Her research interests are in basic mechanisms of immunology, including innate immunity in the context of chronic lung diseases. She was formerly Director of the MRC/University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research and Head of Edinburgh Medical School. She was a member of MRC Strategy Board (2017-2023) and Chair of the MRC Training and Careers Group. She was Chair of Sub-panel 1 (Clinical Medicine) for the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. 


As part of our governance structure we also have a number of non-Trustee committee members who bring a wide range of experience and skills in relevant areas.

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020 7242 0200

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