Our Executive Team

The NCRI Director and Executive are responsible for taking forward the activities of NCRI, as agreed by the Board of Trustees. The NCRI Director is supported by a senior management team who work closely with her, the Board of Trustees, NCRI Partners, other key stakeholders in the UK cancer research community and the rest of the NCRI Executive to help foster a productive partnership.

You can contact us via our general enquires email or email members of the senior management team directly. You can also call us on +44 (0)20 3469 8460.

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Meet the senior management team

Karen Kennedy, National Cancer Research Institute Director

Karen Kennedy
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Karen joined the NCRI as Director in October 2013. Prior to this she held the position of Head of Strategic Relations at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, leading on partnership building across a range of externally facing stakeholders. Karen has a degree in Pharmacology and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and carried out post-doctoral research in Toulouse and Cambridge before moving into the research funding arena with various roles in the Science Funding division of the Wellcome Trust. She has also spent time living in Canada, as the Director of the International Genomics Programme at Genome Canada with responsibility for the development and oversight of international research consortia and alliances. Karen is passionate about research and believes that by working together in partnership we can enable faster progress in cancer research and fully realise its benefits for patients and the public.


MattSeymour1Matt Seymour
Clinical Research Director (part-time)
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Matt is the NCRI’s Clinical Research Director, and provides clinical leadership to initiatives including the NCRI Clinical Studies Groups on a part-time basis.

Matt is a medical oncologist specialising in gastrointestinal cancers. As well as practising at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, he is also Professor of Gastrointestinal Cancer Medicine at the University of Leeds, and is the chief investigator of a number of phase III trials.

He provides a key interface between NCRI and the research networks, having been Director of the cancer division of the NIHR Clinical Research Networks since 2010.


Wayne Brads, National Cancer Research Institute Head of Business Operations

Wayne Brads
Head of Business Operations
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Wayne Joined NCRI as Head of Business Operations in May 2015. He leads a team responsible for developing and implementing ways of working which enables the organisation to develop and promote successful partnerships working.

Having originally trained in Naval Architecture and with a degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science, Wayne completed a twenty year commission in the Royal Navy which included service in nuclear submarines and surface ships. During this period he also trained as a Management Accountant and gained a Master’s degree from Cranfield University. Before joining the NCRI Wayne spent eight years at Guide Dogs leading planning, performance and quality management.

Wayne is committed to building effective and resourceful teams who are focussed on enabling the delivering of best value to partners, patients and the public.


Stuart Griffiths
Head of Strategy and Initiatives
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Stuart is on secondment to the NCRI from Breast Cancer Now where he is Assistant Director of Research and Strategy. He is working with the NCRI to implement a new strategy for the Partnership and oversees the various strategic initiatives.

Following a PhD at Cancer Research UK in 2008, Stuart joined Prostate Cancer UK where his career in research management began. In 2009 he moved to Breast Cancer Campaign, where he led various aspects of the research funding functions of the charity including time as Acting Director of Research. Notably Stuart led the publication of a landmark Gap Analysis in 2013 – a review of the gaps in breast cancer research published in the journal Breast Cancer Research.  He established a research innovation function at the charity that strategically commissioned research into areas of importance as identified through the Gap Analysis such as the prevention of breast cancer. More recently Stuart facilitated the creation of a new Strategy for Breast Cancer Now as the charity continues to establish its self-following a recent merger between Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Stuart is a 2014 Clore Social Fellow as part of the prestigious Clore Social Leadership Programme that aims to develop leaders across the social sector. He has a strong interest in social justice issues in additional to all things strategy.


Nicole Leida, National Cancer Research Institute Head of Conference and Events Nicole Leida
Head of Conference and Events
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Nicole joined NCRI in June 2015 as Head of Conference and Events. She provides leadership and direction for the strategic development of the NCRI Cancer Conference and other NCRI events while overseeing their operational delivery.

Nicole has a degree in PR and Advertising with an MA in Event Management and a postgraduate certificate in Business Finance and Management. After a brief spell as a graphic designer, Nicole worked as a marketing manager for a fashion company in her native Italy, near Milan.

When she moved to the UK, she worked as an event planner for the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK and various other clients including well-known educational institutions and hospitality establishments. She then joined the Royal Society of Medicine, where she worked for over seven years and was responsible for leading and coordinating the strategic planning function and day-to-day operations of an event team of 30.

Nicole is a full member of the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) and was elected joint-chair in 2014. In her spare time she practices and teaches Hatha Yoga and meditation.


Ian Lewis
Head of Clinical Research Groups
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Ian joined the NCRI as the Head of Clinical Research Groups (Maternity Cover) in December 2016. He provides leadership and strategic input into the activities of the NCRI’s Clinical Research Groups (CRGs), a central component of the cancer research framework in the UK which develops and maintains a balanced portfolio of high quality clinical cancer research.

His team is responsible for delivery of all of the activities of the NCRI CRGs, currently including Clinical Studies Groups (CSGs), Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research (CTRad) Working Group and the Cancer Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) Group. Ian is also responsible for oversight of all patient involvement in NCRI activities via the NCRI Consumer Forum.

Prior to joining the NCRI Ian worked at Tenovus Cancer Care as the Director of Research and Policy. He completed his PhD in 2005 at Cardiff University studying the mechanisms that some breast cancers use to become resistant to common drug treatments.