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.  Sir Leszek was appointed as a Trustee in July 2016 and as Chair in November 2016.  He also serves on the Councils of the Courtauld Institute and Imperial College.  Following a distinguished academic and clinical research career and prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge in 2010, 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 and elected Fellow of the Royal Society.  His work in vaccines included Europe’s first trial for human papillomavirus to treat cervical cancer at the University of Cardiff and funded by Cancer Research UK.  He was knighted in 2001 for his pioneering work. 


Tracy De Groose LLB (Deputy Chair)

 Appointed 2018.  Tracy has extensive commercial experience working as a CEO and chair across a number of roles within the creative industries.  Most recently, Tracy was executive chair of Newsworks, the marketing arm for the UK news industry.  Prior to that Tracy was chief executive of marketing services firm, Dentsu UK, with P&L responsibility for over 20 media, digital and data businesses and 4,000 people, advising a diverse range of clients including Disney, Diageo, Asda and the UK government. 

In 2020, Tracy founded ‘Brilliant Misfits’ to coach and mentor the next generation of trailblazing leaders and innovators. 

Tracy is a Speaker for Schools, and was a member of 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.


 Catherine Brown LLB (Hons)

Appointed 2015.  Catherine 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 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.

Professor Doreen Cantrell CBE, FRS, FRSE, FMedSci  

 Appointed 2022. Professor Doreen Cantrell is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee.  She was Head of the College of Life Sciences and Vice Principal of the University of Dundee from 2010 to 2016 and Chair of the Biological Sciences Sub-panel for the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. 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. 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. She was appointed CBE in 2014 for services to Life Sciences.


Peter Chambré

Appointed 2016.  Peter Chambré is Chair of Cancer Research Horizons, 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 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’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 2022. Gerard gained his BA in Biochemistry at Oxford, his PhD in Molecular Immunology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and was 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 and was 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 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 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 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 President of the European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe) from 2019 -2021 and continues to serve on the SIOP Europe Board. 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 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 a Trustee of a Child of Mine, a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved parents.

Rakshit Kapoor

 Appointed 2023.  Rakshit 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 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 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 Deputy Chair of Vitality UK, the shared value insurance provider and Chair of Trustees at the Royal College of Paediatrics and 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.


Hitesh Thakrar

 Appointed 2023. Hitesh is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd.  Hitesh has 24 years’ experience of global public equities. He managed Innovation funds for several asset management companies including Aviva and ADIA, where he was a top-rated portfolio manager. He has an interest in the convergence of life science with other innovation led sectors such as data sciences and the application of industrial technology in medical diagnostics. He has a degree in Chemistry from King’s College London and is a CFA.


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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