News and events

Being a trustee at the Medical Research Foundation

Trustees' Week 2022

Last updated



Kristen Gallagher became a trustee in 2021. This Trustees' Week, she tells us her reasons for taking on the role, and why it’s so rewarding.

Kristen is a fundraising and external relations expert. She is Director of Revenue at the Rose Theatre in London, and has previously held senior fundraising roles in higher education and the arts.

What inspired you to become a trustee of the Foundation?

"It was the impact that the Foundation is having in different areas of medical research and the chance for me to give something back.

There’s a real opportunity to make a difference to people's lives.

It's a different challenge for me - coming from an arts background, it’s an opportunity for me to bring the experience I’ve gained from my career to the role, and to learn from the fabulous people who work for, and are trustees of, the Foundation.

I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the field, and to bring what I can to the table - supporting the organisation and working with the team to enhance fundraising."

There’s a real opportunity to make a difference to people's lives.

What is your highlight so far?

"Recently I joined a lab visit to the University of Birmingham, where dome fascinating autoimmune hepatitis research is taking place.

It was a chance to meet the scientists and some of the donors who are making the research possible. We met Dr Zania Stamataki and her colleagues, and had a look at the amazing work that they're doing with liver tissue samples.

It was just amazing to see the scope of the Foundation’s support in giving researchers a chance to think more broadly in their studies and to have the flexibility to try new approaches to the problems that they're trying to solve."

Dr Zania Stamataki
Dr Zania Stamataki’s study will investigate the impact of targeting a new biological phenomenon called enclysis in viral and autoimmune hepatitis (AIH).

Sign up to our e-newsletter

Be the first to hear about our latest research projects and events


What does being a trustee mean to you?

"As well as using my expertise to benefit charitable organisations, it's an opportunity for me to broaden my own skillset - to learn more through working with other trustees and members of the charity.

My mum actually founded a charitable organisation in America. Growing up, our family very much valued giving something back and doing things that supported others, whether it was our community or national organisations.

Certainly, for me, working for the Foundation gives me an opportunity to contribute to something that has a national and international significance."

It's an opportunity for me to broaden my own skillset - to learn more through working with other trustees and members of the charity.

What research funding at the Foundation are you most excited about?

"I think the new collaborations to support eating disorders research is hugely important.

I had several friends growing up and into my twenties who were impacted by eating disorders, and I know as the mother of two children the impact that the pandemic has had on children's mental health - and particularly for children who are suffering from things like disordered eating.

I think the opportunity to look at treatments and solutions for these conditions from a multidisciplinary perspective is hugely valuable right now."

Why is it important to support the Medical Research Foundation?

"Supporting the Foundation will have a direct impact on medical research and the fantastic researchers and clinicians who are making it happen.

There are real opportunities for donors at all levels to engage with the Foundation and the people who work there, and the people who are affiliated with the projects that it supports.

It's also a real opportunity to make an impact on conditions that perhaps aren't as well funded by other charities."

Donate today

Fund new research that will change people's lives.

Support us