We were pleased to welcome Iain to the NCRI at the beginning of August. Iain joins us from Prostate Cancer UK, an NCRI Partner organisation, where he was Director of Research. He’s also previously been a member of our Board of Trustees, so is no stranger to the work of NCRI. Here, Iain tells us about himself and his aspirations for partnership working across cancer research.

What were you doing before joining the NCRI?

For the past (nearly) 6 years, I was the Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK. I was the charity’s first Director of Research as it really ramped up its funding of research. In my time I was responsible for investing £40m in research – I am really proud of this achievement.

What attracted you to the NCRI?

I believe passionately in working in partnership to achieve common goals. As research becomes more ambitious, I don’t think any single funder can take it all on. To achieve the benefits to patients we all want to see from research, we have to promote and encourage collaboration and coordination across the cancer research pathway.

What are you looking forward to most in the next six months?

Getting to know the NCRI Executive and supporting them in achieving even greater outcomes. We have a great five year strategy and will be judged on how we have delivered on some very bold and ambitious aims. I look forward to leading and supporting the team in doing just that.

What do you perceive to be the biggest challenges/opportunities for partnership working in cancer research at the moment?

I think advanced planning is key; being able to horizon scan and act nimbly to put our efforts into where they will have best effect in the short-, medium- and longer term. We have to identify common areas of interest and work to address them together – we can achieve so much more by working together. And the earlier we do that the better.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I relax by walking our three dogs with my wife Catriona, putting the world to rights. I also make marmalades, jams and chutneys (to the point of obsession according to Catriona) and bake cakes. I think that’s a throwback to my researcher days of weighing things out accurately and following (or adapting) a recipe to make something.

If you could choose one piece of art (film/play/book/music) that you love, what would it be?

At the risk of losing all credibility here, I’m going to choose the film ‘Sunshine on Leith’.  I’m tempted not to say anything more here and remain a man of mystery.