Non-Executive Board membership

Dr Graham Spittle CBE (Chair)

Dr Spittle was appointed as IBM’s Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Software Group in January 2010, having joined IBM in 1985. Previously he held several senior executive positions within IBM: Vice President, Software UKI (UK & Ireland); Vice President, Worldwide Integration Development; Director of the IBM Hursley Laboratory in the United Kingdom, and Director of MQ Development. In June 2008 Dr Spittle was appointed as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to industry.

Dr Spittle’s other posts have included:

  • Member of Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology
  • Chair of the Technician Council
  • Chair of the UK Technology Strategy Board 2004-2011
  • Director of The Foundation for Science and Technology
  • Fellow of the British Computer Society
  • Member of HM Higher Education Commission
  • Member of Scottish Health Informatics Research Advisory Group

Professor Sarah Harper CBE

Sarah is Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford, a Fellow at University College, and the Founding Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. Sarah served on the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, which advises the Prime Minister on the scientific evidence for strategic policies and frameworks. In 2017, she served as the Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Sarah is a Director and Trustee of the UK Research Integrity Office.

She chaired the UK government’s Foresight Review on Ageing Populations (2014-2016) and has chaired the Evaluation board of the Active Ageing Index for the EC/UNECE Population Board since 2015. She is a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropology Institute.

Sarah was appointed a CBE in 2018 for services to Demography.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG

Baroness (Lucy) Neville-Rolfe was appointed a Life Peer in 2013 and served as a minister in the Business and Culture departments (2014-16) and as Commercial Secretary to the Treasury from December 2016 to June 2017. She is Chairman of Assured Food Standards and a non-executive director of Capita plc.

Lucy worked at Tesco PLC (1997–2013), serving on the plc Board from 2006.

Before Tesco, Lucy was a civil servant having served in the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1973 to 1992, the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit at Number 10 from 1992 to 1994 and as Director of the Deregulation Unit until she joined Tesco.

Professor Sir Alex Markham

Sir Alex Markham is Professor of Medicine and Director of the MRC Medical Bioinformatics Centre in Leeds. He has made various contributions to medical science, is a physician and pathologist, and trained initially in medicinal chemistry. His commercial experience includes cancer drug development and introduction of DNA Fingerprinting for medico-legal applications (Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement in 1990).

A Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, he served as Chairman of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) establishing the National Cancer Intelligence Network, and has been a member of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Board and the National Institute of Health Research Advisory Board. He was a member of the Government’s Cancer Reform Strategy Advisory Board, has chaired numerous MRC and Wellcome Trust Committees and was a Trustee of Arthritis Research UK. He chaired the Translational Medicine Board for MRC and NIHR under the auspices of OSCHR, and was SRO for the NIHR Research Capability Programme. He now chairs the OSCHR Health Informatics Group. He is chairman of the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine.

Professor Markham was Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK until 2008. He received a knighthood in the 2008 New Year’s Honours for services to
medicine. He is a non-executive director of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Medicines Discovery Catapult and UK Biobank.
He also contributes to numerous European oncology initiatives, including the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research.

Professor Jonathan Montgomery

Professor Jonathan Montgomery is a Professor of Health Care Law at UCL. In addition to his academic work, Professor Montgomery holds a number of national public service roles including Chair of the Health Research Authority and formerly Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

Professor Montgomery has chaired the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, the Human Genetics Commission and the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Working Party on a Strategy for Brain Tissue Banking. He was a member of the Committee on the Ethical Aspects of Pandemic
Influenza and the Organ Donation Taskforce (for its work on presumed consent in 2008) and a member of the Medical Ethics Committee of the British Medical Association from 2003 to 2008.

He served on NHS boards in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for over twenty years. His most significant research contributions lie in the field of Health Care Law.

Dr Frances Rawle

Dr Frances Rawle is Director of Policy, Ethics and Governance at the Medical Research Council. In this role she is responsible for governance and accountability for the MRC within UK Research and Innovation, including supporting the MRC’s Council, and for responding to and shaping the changing regulatory and policy environment relating to medical research. This includes development and implementation of policies in areas such as good research practice, research integrity, data sharing and transparency, open access publishing, research using personal data and research involving animals. She also has responsibility for research ethics and leads the MRC’s work aimed at improving reproducibility in biomedical research.

Dr Rawle has a PhD in immunology and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the UK and the USA before joining the MRC as a programme manager for AIDS research in 1991. Since then she has had various roles at the MRC, including programme manager for public health, leading the early planning stages of UK Biobank, head of the Research Careers group and leading the Molecular and Cellular Medicine group.  In her spare time, she is chair of governors at a primary school.

Professor Sir Jim Smith FMedSci FRS

Professor Sir Jim Smith is Director of Science at Wellcome and Senior Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. He joined Wellcome in December 2016. He is responsible for leading the Science Division, developing Wellcome’s science strategy and managing a broad portfolio of research.

A globally recognised developmental biologist, Professor Smith’s research interests include inductive interactions in vertebrate development and applying the principles of developmental biology to stem cell differentiation.

His previous roles include Director of the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and Director of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), where he oversaw its transition to the Francis Crick Institute. More recently, he has been Deputy CEO and Chief of Strategy at the Medical Research Council, and Director of Research and Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute.

Professor Smith has a distinguished career in scientific research as a Fellow of the Royal Society (1993), a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1998) and a member of the Academia Europaea (2000). He has also been awarded the EMBO Medal (1993) and the Waddington Medal (2013). Professor Smith was knighted in the 2017 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Professor Dame Janet Thornton FMedSci FRS

Professor Dame Janet Thornton is a Senior Research Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus at Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK. She was Director of the Institute from 2001-2015. EMBL-EBI provides core bioinformatics data and services and performs bioinformatics research.

Professor Thornton’s research is focused on proteins, especially their structure, function and evolution. She is a computational biologist, working at the interface of biology with physics, chemistry, and computing. This includes a detailed analysis of enzyme biocatalysts, their mechanisms and the evolution of new functions. Her group is also investigating the molecular basis of ageing. She has published more than 500 scientific papers, was elected to the Royal Society in 1999 and is a Foreign Associate of US National Academy of Sciences. In 2012 she became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to bioinformatics.


David Zahn is Head of European Fixed Income at Franklin Templeton Investments, a global investment management firm, and has worked in asset management for over 20 years. He undertakes voluntary work in the healthcare and education sectors and participates on several charitable boards including The Health Foundation where he is Chair of the Investment Committee. He is a Trustee of the Medical Research Foundation.

Mr Zahn has had extensive experience in volunteering through the CFA Institute, a global not-for-profit association of investment professionals that
awards the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

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