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Board of Trustees

As an exempt charity, The Institute of Cancer Research is governed by Trustees – collectively known as the Board of Trustees. The Trustees carry the responsibility of company directors of the ICR.


  • The Board of Trustees comprises up to 18 individuals, the majority of whom are appointed by the Board.
  • The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Research UK each appoint a member to the Board.
  • The ICR’s Academic Board and the ICR’s student body each elect a member to the Board.
  • The Chief Executive and Dean of Academic and Research Affairs are ex-officio members of the Board. 

The Board of Trustees carries the overall responsibility for ensuring that the ICR pursues its charitable objects, complies with its own constitution and relevant regulations, applies its resources exclusively to its objects and enacts cancer research of the highest international standard.

The Board of Trustees:

  • Determines the ICR’s strategies and monitors the ICR’s strategic performance.
  • Approves its scientific and financial plans, annual report and accounts and governance structure.
  • Makes key appointments (Chief Executive, Dean of Academic and Research Affairs and Chief Operating Officer).
  • Approves new initiatives and non-recurrent expenditure costing £1 million or more.
  • Has established a number of sub-committees to exercise oversight in key areas on its behalf.

Find out more about the ICR’s committees

Board members

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE FMedSciHead shot of Professor Julia Buckingham

Julia took up the role of ICR Chair in August 2021. She has a background in medical research and exceptional leadership experience in academic institutions and across the sector. She has devoted her career to leadership at the interface between scientific research and education. She is passionate about creating the best possible workplace culture at research institutions – ensuring the environment for staff and students is stimulating, inspiring, inclusive and supportive.

Julia is former Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London, former President of Universities and previously chaired Athena SWAN Review Steering Group. She is also a Member of Council of the University of Surrey, continues to chair the Research Development Concordat Strategy Group and continues to support the higher education sector in other ways.

Professor Kristian Helin 

Headshot of Kristian Helin, white male

Kristian joined the Board in September 2021 in ex-officio capacity as the ICR’s Chief Executive and President. He is a world-leading cancer researcher with international leadership experience.

He was previously Chair of the Cell Biology Program and director of the Center for Epigenetics Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and he spent 15 years as Director of the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre at the University of Copenhagen.

He also worked at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and is a member of EMBO. His research studies the role of chromatin-associated proteins (epigenetics) in the regulation of transcription, cell fate decisions and in cancer.

Professor Clare Isacke FMedSci 

Clare Isacke

Clare joined the ICR’s Board in 2013 in ex-officio capacity as Dean of Academic and Research Affairs. Clare is an expert in breast cancer metastasis who leads the Molecular Cell Biology Team in the ICR’s Division of Breast Cancer Research. She joined the ICR in 2001 as Professor of Molecular Cell Biology in the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre. Previously Clare was based at the Salk Institute in San Diego and was also Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at Imperial College London. She is a member of EMBO.

Professor Chris Bakal

Professor Chris Bakal in a lab coat

Chris joined the ICR Board in February 2021 as its Academic Board representative.

Chris studies the biological switches that cause cells to change shape, become cancerous and spread around the body. By understanding how these switches work, scientists may one day find a way to control them through drugs or other therapies. He is Leader of the Dynamical Cell Systems Team within the Division of Cancer Biology at the ICR.


Dr Carolin Barth

Headshot of Carolin Barth

Carolin is a senior executive with more than 20 years’ global leadership experience within the pharma, biotech and consulting sectors and is currently a partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where she advises biopharma clients. She was previously CEO of a UK biotech company. Carolin brings in-depth expertise in strategy, research and development, marketing and sales within haematology, oncology and immunology. She has helped to develop and commercialise transformative products for people with cancer and is passionate about translation of cancer research into improved clinical outcomes, enabling more patients to access novel therapies, and advancing female leaders through networking and mentoring.

Anthony Clare

Headshot of Anthony Clare

Anthony is a senior City lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience, primarily focused on the biotechnology and life sciences sectors. He is a former Deputy Chair and Trustee of The Babraham Institute, a life sciences research organisation that is dedicated to making the fundamental discoveries that are needed to maintain health and improve wellbeing. He is also an independent theatre producer and Chair of Park Theatre in London.

Nigel Jones

Headshot of Nigel Jones

Nigel is a chartered accountant with more than 30 years’ experience across a broad range of industries and areas of finance. Before he retired from full time employment in 2021, Nigel was Vice President, Group Financial Controller for Burberry. He is also a member of the Audit Committee for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has been a non-executive member of the ICR’s Audit and Risk Committee since June 2022.

Charlie Foreman

Charlie Foreman

Charlie joined the ICR Board in October 2020. Charlie has been a career investment banker, most recently as a Managing Director of Lazard & Co, where he headed up the European Capital markets team. He has now moved to being a Senior Advisor to Lazard & Co as he completed an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise at Cambridge. Charlie has a focus on funding for life science companies and has joined to Board to help support the ICR’s philanthropic initiatives. He is also a Trustee of the Tennis and Rackets Association and is a keen golfer.

Professor Margaret Frame OBE FMedSci FRSE Margaret Frame

Margaret joined the Board in March 2023. She is a biomedical research scientist with interests in novel  cancer mechanisms, as evidenced by deep biology, imaging and new approaches to drug discovery and cancer therapeutics.

She is Professor of Cancer Research at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre and Director of the Institute of Genetics and Cancer at the University of Edinburgh.

Margaret is very active in supporting the careers of early and mid-stage researchers, both clinical and non-clinical. She serves as Chair, or member, of several international scientific advisory boards. From 2002-2007, Margaret was Deputy Director of the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List in 2018 for services to cancer research.

Professor Nic Jones FMedSciNic Jones

Nic was appointed to the ICR’s Board in November 2017. He is a Trustee of Cancer Research UK’s Council of Trustees and is a Trustee at the Babraham Institute. As Director of Manchester Cancer Research Centre, he oversaw its development into one of the foremost comprehensive cancer centres in Europe and is now its Director of Strategic Initiatives. From 2011-16 Nic was Cancer Research UK’s Chief Scientist with responsibility for overseeing its scientific strategy. He was also previously Director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, and led a research team investigating specific signalling pathways implicated in cancer development and growth.

Bastien Lecoeur

Headshot of Bastien Lecoeur

Bastien joined the ICR Board in March 2022 as its Student representative.

He recently graduated from a Masters Degree in Advanced Computer Science from Imperial College London. He has also obtained a General Engineering degree from Télécom Paris. Interested in the application of computer science in other scientific areas, he began his PhD at the ICR through the Convergence Science Centre in 2021. His research aims at accelerating MRI acquisition for radiotherapy and especially on the MR-Linac from the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Professor Chris Molloy

Headshot of Chris Molloy

Chris has a 30-year international board and executive career in the life sciences. After 14 years at GSK he became Chief Operating Officer at MerLion Pharmaceuticals, an award-winning Singaporean anti-infectives biotech. Chris ran corporate development for the global informatics firm IDBS and was CEO of the executive search firm RSA Group before becoming the founding

CEO of Medicines Discovery Catapult, the national centre for innovation in drug R&D. During the pandemic, Chris was founding Director of the Lighthouse Labs – the largest diagnostics project in UK history – and chaired the industry-governmental consortium on rapid testing that increased UK test manufacturing capacity by twenty-fold. Chris is chairman of Thriva, Exploristics and NorthWest EHealth and holds an honorary chair at the University of Manchester.

Karl Munslow-Ong

Karl Munslow-Ong

Karl was appointed to the ICR Board by The Royal Marsden as an alternate Trustee. He is Chief Operating Officer at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and was previously Deputy Chief Executive at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, having joined as their Chief Operating Officer in March 2015. Karl started his career as a management consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers before moving to work at a strategic health authority. He was previously Chief Operating Officer at Hillingdon Hospital and has extensive operational management experience across a number of other acute trusts in London.

Dame Cally Palmer

Dame Cally Palmer

Cally joined the ICR’s Board of Trustees in June 1998 as The Royal Marsden’s representative. She is Chief Executive of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and National Cancer Director for NHS England and has held this dual role since 2015. As National Cancer Director, Cally is responsible for the development and implementation of the national strategy for cancer to improve survival and quality of life for all those affected by cancer. Cally has an MSc in management with distinction from the London Business School and was awarded a CBE in 2006 and a DBE in 2020 for her contribution to cancer medicine.

Ruchir RodriguesRuchir Rodrigues

Ruchir joined the ICR’s Board in 2020. He is a seasoned business leader with over 25 years in the digital industry. Ruchir is currently Chief Client and Commercial Officer at Hargreaves Lansdown where is responsible for the revenue and growth of the business. He has a track record of driving large scale digital and commercial transformation at established global businesses most notably at companies like Barclays and Verizon where he held senior executive positions. Ruchir is passionate about public health issues and previously served on the Board of Trustees of Healthwatch, England.

Ruchir holds several patents for product and business innovation. He has a post-graduate degree in MIS & Computer Science from Arizona State University and a BS from the University of Pune, India.

John ShakeshaftJohn Shakeshaft

John joined the ICR Board in June 2021 and is the ICR’s Honorary Treasurer as well as its Chair of Investments and Building Development Committee. His career as a diplomat, banker, director and academic trustee has covered responsibility, finance and governance internationally. He is a Trustee and Chair of finance and resources at Cardiff University, the London Symphony Orchestra,

Council for British Research in the Levant and the Museum of the Home. He is a member of the Investment Committee, Trinity College, Cambridge and a director of investment manager, Corestone, AG. Previously he was Deputy Chair of Council at Cambridge University and Trustee of the Institute of Historical Research.

There is a Members of our Board of Trustees privacy notice that details information we hold about our trustees.