Dr Kumar will take up the part-time role with effect from April 1. He takes over from Professor Dame Janet Husband, Emeritus Professor of Radiology at The Institute of Cancer Research and past President of the Royal College of Radiologists and Medical Director of the Royal Marsden Hospital.

The NCRI is a UK-wide partnership between government, charity and industry, which promotes co-operation in cancer research. Its 22 member organisations work together in areas of common interest to drive collaborative initiatives that benefit the research community, patients and public.

Dr Harpal Kumar is Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK and was previously Chief Executive of the charity’s technology transfer and early drug discovery arm – Cancer Research Technology (CRT). He is also Chairman of the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow and is a Trustee of the Institute for Cancer Research and the Francis Crick Institute.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chair of the NCRI; leading it into its second decade and fostering strong partnerships between its members and the wider research community. NCRI is now firmly at the centre of collaborative research in the UK and I’m delighted that Harpal will now lead it as Chair. His passion for cancer research will be an invaluable asset to the NCRI.

Professor Dame Janet Husband


It’s a privilege to be taking on this significant role. The NCRI is a great forum in which to foster collaborations between research funders, to make sure we are all working together to benefit patients and the public. I look forward to supporting the partnership in its work to enhance the coordination of cancer research across the UK.

Dr Harpal Kumar