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Cancer Research UK announces appointment of new Chairman

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by Cancer Research UK | News

28 April 2016

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Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz

Cancer Research UK announces the appointment of Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, as Chairman with effect from 1 November 2016.

Professor Borysiewicz will take over from Michael Pragnell, who steps down on completion of his second three year term as Chairman on the 31 October 2016, as mandated by the Charity’s constitution. Professor Borysiewicz will step down as Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in September 2017.

Following a distinguished academic and clinical research career and prior to his appointment at the University of Cambridge in 2010, Sir Leszek’s previous roles include Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council and Deputy Rector of Imperial College London. He is a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was awarded a Knighthood in 2001 for his pioneering work in vaccines. This included Europe’s first trial of a vaccine for human papillomavirus to prevent cervical cancer, research conducted at the University of Cardiff and funded by Cancer Research UK. Early teenage girls are now routinely vaccinated for HPV, with the UK having among the highest uptake worldwide.

Michael Pragnell said: “Cancer Research UK has made huge progress on many fronts during the past six years, contributing significantly to improved cancer prevention and treatment. I am enormously pleased to be handing over to Borys. As well as leading a world-renowned academic institution, he brings extensive experience in medical research. This uniquely qualifies him to lead the Charity through its next phase of development”.

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz said: “It is an honour to be asked to chair this vital charity. My entire career has been dedicated to making a difference, through medical research and through leading major academic institutions tackling global problems. Cancer Research UK’s drive to save lives through research makes a real difference to countless people and families every day. I am delighted that I will be able to play a small part in helping it fulfil its life-saving mission”.

Sir Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of the Charity said: “On behalf of the Trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters of Cancer Research UK, I would like to express my thanks for the tremendous support and guidance Michael has given us over the past six years. His leadership has enabled us to make rapid progress throughout a challenging period. We look
forward to welcoming Sir Leszek back to the Charity; his expert contribution will be instrumental in us achieving our ambition of 3 in 4 people surviving cancer by 2034”.

All Trustee roles at Cancer Research UK are unremunerated.


For more information, please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8300 or out of hours on 07050 264 059.