Our Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees oversee all activity here at Worldwide Cancer Research. We have aims and objectives to meet in both fundraising and awarding research grants, and we couldn't do it without their support. Meet the Board:

David Sole OBE

David played International rugby for Scotland from 1986 to 1992 and received an OBE for his services to the sport in 1993. David was captain a record 25 times, including the famous victory over England in 1990 to win Scotland’s third Grand Slam. He also played for the British Lions in 1989 and the Barbarians. 

David then spent 11 years working for United Distillers and Diageo in global operations where he was responsible for the procurement of commodities and neutral spirit across the globe.   

After this, David spent six and a half years with the Change Partnership and Whitehead Mann. While here he focused on, and grew admiration for, executive coaching, team development and board facilitation. 

In 2011, David co-founded the School for CEOs - for aspiring business leaders - with Patrick Macdonald. 

David too has a wealth of Board experience: he served on the Board of Sport Scotland for 8 years as well as the Board of Quality Meat Scotland. In the past he has also been one of three external trustees of the HBOS Foundation; a trustee of the charity Missing People; Chairman of the Board of Governors of Cargilfield School; has chaired committees of the Prince’s Trust – Action; and has been a non-executive director of the Kilchoman Distillery Company.  

David has regularly worked with the media and written newspaper columns for both daily and Sunday papers, as well as commentated on four Rugby World Cups with broadcast giants BBC, ITV, BSkyB and Eurosport. 

Outside of work, David has a number of other interests, including being a Roving Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie Malt Whisky. 

Jane Brydon

Jane is an experienced HR professional and is currently the Human Resources Director at HEINEKEN UK. Having joined the business in early 2014 and sitting on the Management Team, Jane handles the renowned "Our People" agenda within the company. 

Before HEINEKEN UK, Jane was the People and Communications Director at Sainsbury's Bank. Here she was also part of the management team, responsible for creating the new bank now owned by Sainsbury's plc.

From 2004 to 2009, Jane was Group Functions HR Director for HBOS. This led her to Scottish Widows as HR and Communications Director (January 2009 to August 2010). Prior to this, Jane led various oversees programmes and had management roles with the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Jane is also on the Board of Investors in People Scotland, has a BA (Hons) Economic History and MBA from Strathclyde Business School. 

Julia Porter

Julia Porter is an experienced leader, advisor, mentor and board director. Her non-executive career includes sitting on the Boards of DMA, Origin Housing and Freeview - the UK’s largest free to air digital TV platform.

In her consulting roles she provides strategic advice for business starts ups, as well as marketing, CRM and data strategy consulting and GDPR advice. 

Her executive experience includes stints at Guardian News & Media, Getty Images, ITV and IPC Magazines. Julia also holds an MBA from London Business School.

Beverley Brookes

For 25 years Beverley has been instrumental in helping charities to raise public funds via emerging technologies. In the 1990s she was Managing Director of a leading direct marketing agency before becoming Director of her own consultancy in the 2000s. Here she managed a wide variety of inbound TV and radio telephony campaigns for many high-profile clients. These included Carlton Television, the BBC, the DEC, Help for Heroes and the World Wildlife Fund.  

With the growth of digital fundraising, Beverley has also managed campaigns on behalf of Global Radio (Global’s Make Some Noise), Help for Heroes and Channel 5.  

Beverley then became Client Services Director at IMImobile where she recruited and managed the Customer Success team. Here she handled a book of contracts in the enterprise, media and charity sectors worth over £6million. Having been instrumental in retaining the social engagement business for BBC Radio, Beverley also managed Radio 2’s competitions on behalf of Children in Need. 

More recently at Spoke Interactive, she pioneered the introduction of new digital fundraising mechanics on behalf of UK publishers and the British Red Cross. In December 2018, she managed a project to raise funds for five well-known animal charities on behalf of Channel 5's broadcast telethon 'Help the Animals at Christmas', raising funds via live calls, IVR (interactive voice response), online and Premium SMS messaging. More than £600k was raised on the night of the appeal and it went on to raise more than £750k before it closed in January 2019.  

Paul Coffer

After graduating from Oxford University in 1988, Paul became a research scientist at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London. After completing his PhD in 1992 he relocated to the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In 1995 he was appointed as Principal Investigator at the University Medical Centre (UMC), Utrecht. He started in the Department of Pulmonology, before moving to the Department of Immunology and becoming a full professor in 2006. 

Since 2011 Paul has worked at the Centre for Molecular Medicine at UMC, while from 2013 to 2014 he was visiting scientist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, USA. Paul's research is driven by both fundamental and clinical questions in the fields of cancer and immunology. He is also motivated by the molecular mechanisms underpinning cellular communication.

Outside of the lab, Paul is on the Management Team at UMC, involved in education at both the Masters and PhD program level. This includes being chair of the Utrecht University Regenerative Medicine PhD program.

Between 2013 and 2018 Paul served on the Science Advisory Committee for Worldwide Cancer Research and his research has received grant funding from the charity.

Sue Hunter

Sue Hunter is a partner at Morton Fraser, Lawyers and has been the head of their Private Client Division for 10 years.  She works with individuals, families and trusts, to include charitable trusts.  She is qualified as a Scottish lawyer and is a Chartered Financial Planner. She is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Personal Finance Society.

A former member of the Scottish Board of the Royal Society of Arts, she currently sits as Trustee on a number of grant-making charities.

Chris Clark

Chris is an experienced finance professional having spent the past 10 years in senior finance roles within the Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) sector, with a specific focus in Oncology research. He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer at Medsource, a global full service CRO headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Prior to MedSource, Chris served as Finance Director with Nexus Oncology in Edinburgh, successfully stewarding the sale of the business to Ockham Oncology in 2012, and latterly Chiltern International where he served as CFO for North America until 2016. During this time, Chris and his family lived in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Before moving into the CRO sector, and following his accountancy training with Ernst & Young, Chris spent five years with Edinburgh-based drug discovery business, Ardana PLC, leading the business through numerous private funding rounds and its successful IPO in 2005.

Iain McNeish

Iain is Chair of Oncology and Head of the Division of Cancer at Imperial College London. He is also Director of the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre. He qualified from the University of Oxford in 1992 and obtained his PhD from the University of Birmingham. Since 1998, Iain has combined laboratory research and clinical practice as a medical oncologist. 

Both Iain's clinical work and research focus on ovarian cancer. His team are investigating novel therapies for ovarian cancer and how ovarian cancer adapts and evolves over time. 

Iain is also a previous member of the Worldwide Cancer Research Science Advisory Committee, and is the current chair of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Careers Committee.

Sarah Miskell

Sarah is an experienced commercial leader, mentor and executive coach. Her corporate career included 20 years at Director level in the UK and Europe with leading FMCG brands such as Coca-Cola, Müller and Warburtons. Her commercial experience spans sales, brand marketing, category development and shopper marketing.

As the inaugural CSR Director for Warburtons, Sarah led the strategic development of the Warburtons CSR policy, managing all issues, risks and public affairs for which she was awarded the Business in the Community Game Changer Award.

In 2018, Sarah co-founded Catology Consulting Limited, a bespoke management consultancy specialising in building strategy and capability for UK and Global consumer goods and retail businesses.

Outside of Catology Sarah chairs an industry ‘think tank’ of Commercial and Category Directors and also sits on the ECR Global Steering Group and Sheffield Hallam University Advisory Committee. As an executive coach and Strengthscope®️ practitioner, Sarah is passionate about helping others to reach their potential and has a specific interest in championing women in industry.

When not working, Sarah can be found on hill walks with her dogs and is a keen artist.

Gavin Maggs

Gavin is Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Birmingham, leading the Birmingham In Action campaign that aims to raise £600m and harness 1.25m volunteer hours, both in support of the University’s strategic goals.

It was while studying Classics at Oxford that he began his fundraising career as a student telethon caller and went on to work with donors at the universities of Oxford, Warwick and Bath to maximise their impact, create lasting relationships and effect significant change. At Birmingham, the office has a bold ambition to double its annual fundraising income to tackle five key challenges that face our generation and the next.

His weekends are dedicated to family and sport, in particular Oldfield RFC, where he coaches the U18s Colts having joined them at U9s; a decade well-spent teaching young men the values that rugby embodies.

Chief Executive - Dr Helen Rippon

Helen was appointed CEO of Worldwide Cancer Research in 2016 after four years as Director of Research, overseeing the strategic delivery of the charity’s multi-million-pound global programme of pioneering cancer research.

Awarded a PhD in 2002 for research into prostate cancer, Helen started her career as a postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College London, working in the new and blossoming field of tissue engineering. There she authored some of the earliest scientific papers on the potential of embryonic stem cells for lung regeneration.

Moving to the third sector in 2008, Helen ran the medical research programmes of Age UK and Prostate Cancer UK, developing expertise in research funding strategy and policy, the evaluation of research impact, science communication and public engagement.

As CEO of Worldwide Cancer Research, Helen leads a small charity with immense ambition – to end cancer by starting new cures worldwide. This is only possible thanks to the Curestarter community of supporters who donate so kindly and generously.

In her spare time, Helen is a keen veg-grower, avid Yorkshire Tea drinker and took up watercolour painting during lockdown. At weekends she can be found running up and down hills, and previously raced two marathons in a week to raise funds for Worldwide Cancer Research.

Dr Rippon tweets @drhelenrippon.

Honorary Vice-Presidents

The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Lord Steel of Aikwood and Mrs Maureen Thomson.


The Earl of St. Andrews.


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