Dr Iain Frame has been appointed as the new CEO of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), today (Thursday). Dr Iain Frame will take over from Dr Karen Kennedy, who is leaving the role after more than four years at the helm.

The NCRI is a UK-wide Partnership of research funders whose purpose is to improve health and quality of life by accelerating progress in cancer-related research through collaboration.

Dr Frame is currently Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, an NCRI Partner organisation, and is an NCRI trustee. He leads the charity’s bold and ambitious research strategy underpinning Ten Years to Tame Prostate Cancer. Iain was previously Research Director at Diabetes UK, where he advanced the quality of studies funded as well as working with the fundraising teams to help almost double the organisation’s research spend.

Iain has also worked at the Wellcome Trust and before that as a researcher investigating molecular biology in parasites.

I am delighted to be taking on the role of CEO at NCRI. With increasing technologies, big data and advances in immunotherapy, these are exciting and challenging times for cancer research. Crucially, the NCRI will be pivotal in ensuring that, by working in partnership, across different funders and different types of cancers, we can speed up the pace of discovery and, in turn, survival from the disease. The NCRI’s five-year strategy is clear – we want to accelerate progress in research – and I’m looking forward to working with the NCRI Partners and Executive team to ensure that we deliver.

Dr Iain Frame, CEO, NCRI


The NCRI has made great strides over the last four and a half years under Karen’s direction. I would like to say an enormous thank you to her for leaving NCRI in such a strong position. Over the next four years our focus will be on working together to accelerate cancer research. We’re very excited for Iain to be joining us – the depth and breadth of experience he brings will provide the leadership necessary to ensure we deliver our goals. I very much look forward to working with him.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chair, NCRI Board of Trustees

Dr Karen Kennedy is moving to a new role as Director of a new Strategic Partnerships Office at the University of Cambridge.

I believe passionately in the role that NCRI plays and it has been a privilege to lead the NCRI Executive over the past four and a half years. I have no doubt the fast pace of research will continue through collaboration. I would like to say thank you to all the NCRI Partners, members of the cancer research community and the consumers that I have worked alongside – it has been a pleasure to work with you all.

Dr Karen Kennedy