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Honorary appointment for outgoing CEO of Cancer charity

06 Jul 2018

Sir Harpal Kumar, the eminent and influential Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, has been appointed an honorary Chair in Cancer Sciences in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

Sir Harpal Kumar

Sir Harpal Kumar, the eminent and influential Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, has been appointed an honorary Chair in Cancer Sciences in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

He is stepping down from his role at CRUK after nine years at the helm. As the head of the cancer research and awareness charity, Sir Harpal has been instrumental in the development of the successful CRUK Manchester Institute and was highly supportive over the time of the Paterson fire.

"We are delighted to welcome Sir Harpal to the Faculty" said interim Dean, Professor Peter Clayton. "We are looking forward to a long and fruitful association with our cancer research community and more broadly in the University."

Sir Harpal was Chair of the Taskforce and author of 'Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for England 2015-2020'. He is a Trustee of The Francis Crick Institute in London, a non-executive board member of the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and the Senior Independent Director of Innovate UK. He is a member of the National Cancer Transformation Board and chairs the National Cancer Advisory Group.  He is a Member of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board, the Mayor of London’s Brexit Advisory Group and the Global Healthy Cities Partnership Taskforce.

Knighted in 2016 for services to cancer research, Sir Harpal gained a Masters’ degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School.  He has honorary degrees from the Universities of Manchester and Newcastle.

After a brief period working as a research scientist with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Sir Harpal worked for four years in the London office of McKinsey and Co, specialising in healthcare. He then became CEO of The Papworth Trust, which focuses on pioneering rehabilitation services for people with acquired and congenital disabilities.

He left Papworth in 1997 to become founding CEO of Nexan Group, a venture capital-backed medical device company, creating and marketing novel cardio-respiratory monitoring technologies to reduce premature mortality in patients with congestive heart failure.

He joined the VRUK subsidiary, Cancer Research Technology Limited as Chief Executive in October 2002. In addition to his role with CRT, he became Chief Operating Officer of Cancer Research UK in July 2004, before becoming Chief Executive in April 2007.