Our trustees

Hand and pens

Our Board of trustees, led by Professor Nicholas Lemoine, is composed of a mix of scientific experts and lay members who each bring a unique set of skills and experiences.



Candidates for two of the eight trustee positions are nominated by the Medical Research Council (MRC). The Board of Trustees is advised on research priorities and applications for support by members of the MRC’s research boards comprising some of the world’s most highly respected clinicians and scientists, by the MRC’s head office staff or the wider scientific community.

Our trustees do not get paid for the work they do for us.

Professor Nicholas Lemoine

Nick is the Chair of the Medical Research Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He has been a trustee since 2008 having initially been appointed to this position by the MRC. 

Nick is Director of the Barts Cancer Institute of Cancer at Queen Mary University of London. His main research interests are in molecular genetics and gene therapy of cancer. He is also Director of Research & Development for Cancer and Surgery at Barts Health NHS Trust and the Medical Director of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network for England.

He has served as Chair of the Clinical Training and Career Development Panel at the Medical Research Council, and is currently Vice-Chair of the MRC Stratified Medicine Expert Panel. He has previously served as Chair of the MRC Stem Cell Strategic Grant and Fellowship Panels, and has been a member of the MRC’s Molecular & Cellular Medicine Board. He chairs scientific advisory and grant award committees for a number of medical charities, including Diabetes UK, Prostate Cancer UK, Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund and Pancreatic Cancer UK.

He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2006.



Professor Cyrus Cooper OBE

Cyrus was appointed as a trustee of the Medical Research Foundation in July 2017 having been nominated to this position by the MRC.

Cyrus Cooper is Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit; Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton; and Professor of Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford. He leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis. He is President of the International Osteoporosis Foundation; Chair of the Arthritis Research UK Clinical Studies Initiative; Chair of the BHF Project Grants Committee; an emeritus NIHR Senior Investigator; and Associate Editor of Osteoporosis International. He has published extensively (over 850 research papers) on osteoporosis and rheumatic disorders and pioneered clinical studies on the developmental origins of peak bone mass.

Professor Bobbie Farsides

Bobbie joined the Board of the Medical Research Foundation in April 2015.

Bobbie Farsides is Professor of Clinical and Biomedical Ethics at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. She has been researching and teaching in the field of bioethics for over twenty years, and her research focuses on the experience of health care professionals and scientists operating in ethically contested fields of biomedicine. Bobbie also has a strong commitment to public policy work and serves on a number of committees including the UK Donation Ethics Committee. Research ethics has been a constant interest throughout her career including practically focused work in the developing world context. She recently chaired the Nuffield Council on Bioethics working party on Children’s Participation in research and she chairs the Wellcome Trust’s Ethics and Society Interview panel.


Professor Daniel Altmann

Danny was appointed as a trustee of the Medical Research Foundation in April 2014.

Danny Altmann is an active research scientist.  He has run a lab at the Hammersmith Hospital Campus of Imperial College since moving to the site for the opening of the Medical Research Council’s Clinical Sciences Centre in 1994.

His main research interests are the study of adaptive immunity in human disease including severe bacterial infection and autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis.  Danny took two and a half years out of bench research from 2011 to work with the Wellcome Trust on strategy for biomedical research funding initiatives in infection, immunity and population health. He is Editor-in-Chief of ‘Immunology’ and Associate Editor of ‘Vaccine’ journals.

Mr David Zahn

David joined the Board of the Medical Research Foundation in January 2015.

David Zahn is Head of European Fixed Income and a Senior Vice President at Franklin Templeton Investments. He leads the management of European fixed income strategies and is a member of the Fixed Income Policy Committee. David is also a portfolio manager for a number of Global Aggregate and Global Government fixed income portfolios. Prior to joining Franklin Templeton in 2006, he was a senior portfolio manager at Citigroup Asset Management. He has more than 20 years of experience in the investment profession, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Charterholder and a Financial Risk Manager (FRM). David holds a MBA from the University of Connecticut and a MA in War in the Modern World from King’s College, London. He is a member of the CFA Institute’s Asset Manager Code Advisory Committee.

Mr Russell Delew

Russell was appointed as a trustee of the Medical Research Foundation in July 2016.

Russell Delew is Chief Executive of The London Community Foundation. He has more than 20 years’ experience in leadership roles within the not – for profit sector and has delivered transformational growth in some of the UK’s best loved organisations including Cancer Research UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the NSPCC.  Prior to joining The London Community Foundation in 2016, Russell was Director of Major Giving & Appeals at Cancer Research UK where he developed the strategy, built a team and delivered over £140 million in philanthropic support from individuals, trusts and corporate foundations. This included £100m towards the construction of the Francis Crick Institute at St Pancras.


Mr Steve Visscher CBE

Steve joined the Board of the Medical Research Foundation in 2012 having been nominated to this position by the MRC.

Steve has been Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) since November 2008. He joined BBSRC on its formation in 1994 from the Agricultural and Food Research Council initially serving as Director of Finance. Currently he is actively involved in Food Security research coordination and strategy, including developing international partnerships, multi-national research initiatives and closer collaboration between funding bodies and research agencies.

He is a member of the Food Research Partnership, Chairs the Food Research Partnership international subgroup and the G20 Wheat Initiative Institutions’ Committee.

He is also Director of research campus companies in Cambridge and Norwich and a member of the Technology Strategy Board ‘Catapult’ Committee overseeing the establishment of technology and innovation centres .

Mrs Sue Wilkinson

Sue was appointed as a trustee of the Medical Research Foundation in July 2016.

Sue was a member of the National Trust’s executive board and her portfolio of responsibilities included membership, fundraising, volunteering and participation until she retired at the end of 2016. She is a Board Director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and a Trustee of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, the Churches Conservation Trust and the Canal & River Trust.  Sue has previously served on the Visit England Board and as a Trustee of the Institute of Fundraising.