Governing Body

Governing Body

How the Governing Body is made up.

The Lister Institute’s Governing Body is made up of the trustees of the charity who are also directors of the company. The Governing Body meets formally twice a year and oversees all of the Institute’s activities, designating responsibilities in specific areas to two committees: The Finance and Investment Committee and the Scientific Committee. There are fifteen trustees in total; six are elected by Members of the Institute at the AGM, a further six are appointed by the existing Governing Body, and there are three special appointments.

The current Chair of the Governing Body is Professor Sir John Iredale. John took over the chair role from Professor Sir Alex Markham in September 2022.

There are two other officers of the Governing Body: the Honorary Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee – Mr Murray Legg; and the Chair of the Scientific Committee – Professor Julian Blow.

Special appointments include Lord Iveagh’s representative (the Hon. Rory Guinness) reflecting the longstanding close association between the charity and the Guinness family, a member representing the Royal Society, and finally, to honour his unique contribution to the Lister Institute and UK science in general, Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys holds a personal life-time appointment.

Professor Sir John Iredale, BM (Hons), DM, FRCP (Lond), FRCP (Ed), FMedSci, FRSE, MAE – Chairman

John took on the role of Chairman of the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine in 2022. He is currently holds the Chair of Experimental Medicine at the University of Bristol. From Jan 2022-Oct 2023 he was seconded to UKRI where he acted as the interim Executive Chair of the MRC, prior to this he was Pro Vice-Chancellor for Health and Life Sciences in Bristol. His research
interests are focused on tissue scarring and regeneration and he has published extensively on these subjects. Professor Sir Iredale was, in the past, the Regius Chair of Medical Science, Dean of Clinical Medicine and Vice Principal Health Services at the University of Edinburgh where he led the Medical School.

Mr Murray Legg, BSc, FCA – Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance and Investment Committee

Murray is a chartered accountant who spent 35 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers until retiring in 2013. As a partner with PwC he held a variety of senior management, governance and client facing roles auditing and advising large UK listed and unlisted companies. He was a member of the PwC international network’s Global Governance Board, and he also served on the PwC UK firm’s governance body. Murray is a non-executive director of GlobalData plc and of Sutton and East Surrey Water plc and chairs these companies’ audit committees.

Professor J Julian Blow, PhD, FRSE, Chairman of the Scientific Committee

Julian took on the role of Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Lister Institute in 2022. He is Professor of Chromosome Maintenance and Interim Vice Principal (Academic Planning & Performance) at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Julian’s research interests centre on how eukaryotic DNA replication is regulated to ensure that the genome is precisely duplicated with the minimum of errors, with no sections of DNA left unreplicated and with no sections of DNA replicated more than once. Julian is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a member of EMBO.

Professor Judith Armitage, PhD, FRS, University of Oxford

Judy is a bacterial physiologist, with a particular interest in bacterial movement. After a PhD then Lister Fellowship from UCL she moved to the Biochemistry Department at University of Oxford. She was Associate Head of Microbiology and Director of the Systems Biology Centre. She is a member of EMBO, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the European Academy of Microbiology and the Royal Society, where she sits on the Council. She is currently President of the Microbiology Society.

Professor Wendy Bickmore, CBE, BA, PhD, FMedSci, FRSE, Western General Hospital

Wendy is Director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit, at the University of Edinburgh. She is fascinated by the three-dimensional organization of the human genome and how that influences genome function in health and disease. Wendy is a Fellow of; the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She is also a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization.

Professor Sir Adrian Bird CBE, FRS, FRSE, University of Edinburgh

Adrian holds the Buchanan Chair of Genetics at Edinburgh University. After obtaining his PhD at Edinburgh University and postdoctoral experience at Yale and Zurich he joined an MRC Unit in Edinburgh and later moved to Vienna, returning to Edinburgh in 1990.  His research focuses on DNA methylation and other epigenetic processes, including the molecular mechanisms underlying neurological disorders.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald MACantab, MD, FMedSci, Hutchison-MRC Research Centre

Rebecca is Professor of Cancer Prevention at the MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge and co-leads the CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme. Her research on the Cytosponge and related assays for Barrett’s oesophagus has received several National prizes including the Westminster Medal.  Rebecca is a Fellow at Trinity College Cambridge and still practices medicine as Hon Consultant in Gastroenterology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The Hon Rory Guinness BA, FCIM, representative of Lord Iveagh

Rory currently chairman of the Iveagh Trust and has a background in investment management at senior level. He wrote “The World of Guinness” and regularly speaks on matters to do with the history of the family, the brewery and philanthropy. He also sits on the Boards of St Patrick’s Cathedral, The European Movement Ireland and Rory Guinness Experiences, which provides visitors to the British Isles with unique experiences.

Professor Douglas Higgs, MB, BS, MRCP, MRCPath, DSc, FRCP, FRCPath, FMedSci, FRS, Member of EMBO, John Radcliffe Hospital

Douglas qualified in Medicine at King’s College Hospital and trained as a haematologist.  He is Emeritus Professor of Haematology at the University of Oxford. His laboratory studies how genes are regulated during differentiation and development and how this is perturbed in human genetic disease.

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, CH, FMedSci, FRS, University of Leicester

Alec is a former Lister Fellow and currently Emeritus Professor of Genetics at the University of Leicester.  He is best known for his pioneering work on variation, mutation and recombination in the human genome, and in particular for developing genetic fingerprinting and demonstrating how DNA could transform forensic and legal medicine.

Mr Stephen McMahon, MA (Oxon), FCA, FCSI

Stephen is a Director of ARC Group and is responsible for the company’s Jersey office. After reading Economics & Management at Oxford University, Stephen qualified as an accountant with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in London before joining the Bank of England, where he reviewed operations in the Economic and Financial Markets divisions of the central bank. Stephen is a Chartered Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).

Mr Matthew Pintus, BA

Matthew is a solicitor. He was a partner for many years at Macfarlanes, the Institute’s lawyers, and now works as an independent consultant for families in the UK and elsewhere, giving general advice including advice on their charitable activities.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, DBE MBBS MD FRCP FMEDSCI FAAN FANA FAAAS, University of Sheffield

Pamela is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Sheffield and Director of: the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN); the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience; the Sheffield Care and Research Centre for Motor Neuron Disorders and the cross-faculty Sheffield Neuroscience Institute.  She is a Clinician Scientist in Neurology, formerly a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow and currently an NIHR Senior Investigator.  Her team investigates genetic, molecular and neurochemical mechanisms underlying ALS/MND; identifies new therapeutic targets and translates new neuroprotective and symptomatic treatment approaches into the clinic.

Mrs Jennifer Smithson, BA

Jennifer has been a partner in the Private Client department at Macfarlanes, the Institute’s lawyers, since 2014, having qualified as a solicitor in 2005. She read Law with Law Studies in Europe at Oxford University, spending one year at Paris Assas. Jennifer specialises in advising on cross border estate and wealth planning. Prior to becoming a solicitor, Jennifer spent six years working in authorial rights and TV and film distribution.

Professor Rosalind Smyth, CBE, FMedSci, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Rosalind is Professor of Child Health at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She was Director of this Institute from 2012-22 and is currently Vice-Dean (Research) in the UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences.  She was awarded CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2015 for services to the regulation of medicines for children.