How We Are Governed

The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission is a registered independent community interest company (non profit).

At the Brain Cancer Mission, we are governed by a Board of Guarantors and a Joint Strategy Board. The Mission also consist of a team of paid employees, and a group of 90+ volunteer health care professionals, scientists and patients who are jointly responsible for the delivery of our programmes.

  • The Board of Guarantors is made up of five unpaid members (see Team below). These members are regulated and oversee the overall direction of the Mission.
  • The Joint Strategy Board is made up of the Mission’s funders, partners, and programme leads. These members are also unpaid, works to develop and implement strategies to achieve the Mission’s goals.
  • The Mission employs five full-time employees who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Mission and one part-time employee (see Team below). Two of them (the CEO and Director of Programmes and Operations) are also regulated Company Directors.
  • The Mission works with 90+ volunteer health care professionals, patient representatives and scientists. They assist in delivering the Mission’s six programmes alongside their regular employment. This group is also unpaid.

Governance chart

The Mission is currently funded to deliver six programmes and further support two programmes that are delivered and funded externally.

Mission’s core programmes are: 1) Centre of Excellence programme for adults; 2) Centre of Excellence programme for children; 3) The Tessa Jowell Academy 4) Tessa Jowell Fellowships; 5) the Brain Tumour Research Novel Therapeutics Accelerator and 6) Research Workshops. See more information on the Mission’s programmes.

The Mission supports the Minderoo Precision Medicine Programme and the Tessa Jowell Brain Matrix.

Board of Guarantors

Lord James O'Shaugnessy

Lord James O'Shaugnessy

Patron and Strategic Advisor

Ms Jess Mills

Ms Jess Mills

Co-Founder and Special Advisor

Dr Nicky Huskens

Dr Nicky Huskens

Chief Executive Officer

Professor Richard Gilbertson

Professor Richard Gilbertson

Chair

Richard trained as a paediatric oncologist in the UK where he earned his MBBS and PhD degrees, becoming a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1995. He moved to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA in 2000 where he served as the Co-Leader of the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program and founding Director of the Molecular Clinical Trials Core before being appointed as the Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, Executive Vice President, and Lillian R Cannon Endowed Chair in 2011. In 2014 he was appointed as the Scientific Director of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In August 2015, he moved back home to England where he now serves as the Li Ka-shing Chair of Oncology, Head of Department of Oncology and Director of the CRUK Cambridge Centre at the University of Cambridge. His laboratory research is focused on understanding the link between normal development and the origins of cancer, particularly brain tumours.

Richard is the Chair of the TJBCM and is responsible for providing leadership and guidance on the strategic direction of the mission.

Professor Katie Bushby

Professor Katie Bushby

Vice Chair

Katie became a Professor of Neuromuscular Genetics at the Institute of Genetic Medicine in 2001, establishing and leading the Neuromuscular Team, a top ranking group in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. She established the National Service for Rare Neuromuscular Diseases, supporting patients with rare inherited neuromuscular diseases across the UK and internationally. Katie co-led a 2007 bid for an EU funded Network of Excellence TREAT-NMD and was involved in rare disease policy development via leadership of a number of EU Joint Actions. She was the Vice Chair of the European Union Committee of Experts on Rare Diseases 2010-2013 and the founding co-ordinator of the neuromuscular European Reference Network EURO-NMD.

Katie retired early in May 2018 following the death of her husband, Professor Jimmy Steele CBE, from a glioblastoma. Katie had previous experience of brain cancer when her father passed away from complications of a pituitary adenoma in 1976. Katie is the Vice-Chair of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission and leads the Centre of Excellence
Designation Programme and the Tessa Jowell Academy.

Lord James O'Shaugnessy

Lord James O'Shaugnessy

Patron and Strategic Advisor

James is one of the UK’s leading policy advisors. He has operated at the highest levels of government, including as a Minister at the Department for Health & Social Care, Director of the No.10 Policy Unit, and as an advisor to DHSC Ministers during the COVID-19 crisis. As Minister his responsibilities included implementing the Life Science Industrial Strategy, delivering a new pricing scheme with the pharmaceutical industry, chairing the National Genomics Board, and driving the digital transformation of the NHS.

In 2021 James became co-founder and Senior Partner of Newmarket Strategy, a consultancy dedicated to improving access to health innovation by providing strategic advice and technical support to the healthcare, life sciences and health tech sectors. He is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College, where he chairs the Data, Health & Wealth programme, and a non-executive director of both Health Data Research UK and the Albion Development VCT plc. Outside of health, James chairs the Repairing our Social Fabric programme at the think tank Onward, and is a Member of the House of Lords.

Ms Jess Mills

Ms Jess Mills

Co-Founder and Special Advisor

Dr Nicky Huskens

Dr Nicky Huskens

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Nicky is responsible for the strategic direction of the mission, designing new programmes and overseeing the mission’s existing programme portfolio, seeking new funding and ensuring the overall successful management of the company.

Nicky joined the Mission at its inception in 2018 as Programme Manager when Oliver Wyman provided pro-bono support. During this three-month engagement Nicky was immediately taken by the aspirations and purpose of the Mission. Enjoying the work and feeling she was able to materially contribute, she amicably resigned her role at Oliver Wyman to join the Mission full-time as its first employee. Under her leadership the Mission has successfully launched several national programmes, expanded its team and transitioned into a Community Interest Company.

Prior to joining the Mission, Nicky worked as a management consultant, delivering projects in Oliver Wyman’s financial services and public policy practice. She holds a PhD in Physiology from the University of Oxford.

Day-to-day Team

Dr Nicky Huskens

Dr Nicky Huskens

Chief Executive Officer

Ms Camille Goetz

Ms Camille Goetz

Director of Programmes and Operations

Dr Bryony Allen

Dr Bryony Allen

Senior Programme Manager

Dr Charlotte Aitken

Dr Charlotte Aitken

Senior Programme Manager

Mr Andrew Wright

Mr Andrew Wright

Programme and Policy Manager

Ms Beccy Weir

Ms Beccy Weir

Programme Manager

Dr Nicky Huskens

Dr Nicky Huskens

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Nicky is responsible for the strategic direction of the mission, designing new programmes and overseeing the mission’s existing programme portfolio, seeking new funding and ensuring the overall successful management of the company.

Nicky joined the Mission at its inception in 2018 as Programme Manager when Oliver Wyman provided pro-bono support. During this three-month engagement Nicky was immediately taken by the aspirations and purpose of the Mission. Enjoying the work and feeling she was able to materially contribute, she amicably resigned her role at Oliver Wyman to join the Mission full-time as its first employee. Under her leadership the Mission has successfully launched several national programmes, expanded its team and transitioned into a Community Interest Company.

Prior to joining the Mission, Nicky worked as a management consultant, delivering projects in Oliver Wyman’s financial services and public policy practice. She holds a PhD in Physiology from the University of Oxford.

Ms Camille Goetz

Ms Camille Goetz

Director of Programmes and Operations

As Director of Programmes and Operations, Camille is responsible for the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the company as well as the day-to-day overseeing of the various programmes in the mission’s portfolio. Camille joined the Mission in Sept 2020 as Senior Analyst to support the Centre of Excellence designation initiative. She is now one of TJBCM’s two company directors.

Camille started her career working in addictions research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences. For five years, she worked in NHS addiction treatment services, running clinical trials to test novel psychosocial interventions for cocaine use disorders. After leaving academia, she joined Impact Hub King’s Cross running business development programmes for social enterprises, helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses with a purpose.  

Dr Bryony Allen

Dr Bryony Allen

Senior Programme Manager

As Senior Programme Manager for the Academy, Bryony is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Tessa Jowell Academy.

Bryony previously contributed to the Mission between her PhD and Postdoctoral position by supporting the analysis of the Centre of Excellence designation dataset. After leaving academia in early 2023, she joined the TJBCM full-time to run the Mission’s national learning and networking platform.

Bryony has a strong background in science outreach and research methodologies. She obtained her MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conversation at Imperial, and her PhD in Disease Ecology at the University of Liverpool and the Zoological Society of London, before receiving a Postdoctoral position sponsored by the Environment Agency. Throughout her research and studies, Bryony has maintained a passion for science outreach and teaching. She has been involved in teaching data analysis, disease modelling, and experimental design modules, facilitated problem-based learning courses, and delivered public engagement sessions in collaboration with conservation and scientific organizations.

Dr Charlotte Aitken

Dr Charlotte Aitken

Senior Programme Manager

As Senior Programme Manager for the Brain Tumour Research Novel Therapeutics Accelerator (BTR-NTA), Charlotte is responsible for the day-to-day management of the programme, working closely with a multidisciplinary international group of experts who review and provide guidance on the translation and development of novel treatments.

Prior to joining the mission, Charlotte worked as a Junior Doctor for two years in Auckland, New Zealand. During this time, she worked across various specialties including adult medicine, paediatric neurology and public health. She has been involved in the care of both adults and children with brain tumours. In addition to a medical degree, Charlotte also has a degree in Biomedical Science majoring in Nutrition and Metabolism in Human Health. Throughout her clinical work and studies, she has maintained a passion for public health and research and been awarded two research scholarships which resulted in the publication of two papers.

Mr Andrew Wright

Mr Andrew Wright

Programme and Policy Manager

As Programme and Policy Manager, Andy is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Mission’s longest running programme, the Adult Centre of Excellence Programme. His responsibilities include running the national assessment process and providing ongoing support to hospitals to further develop their services. He also works with Nicky to drive forward the Mission’s policy activity, using learnings from the Centre of Excellence programmes to design policy solutions.

Andy previously worked as Research Associate for TJBCM during his MSc, where he was involved in analysing the data collected in the 2020-2022 Centre of Excellence programme. Prior to returning to the team full time, Andy worked in health policy consulting, where he worked with public and private sector clients in a variety of different diseases. Andy holds an MSc in Global Health, Social Justice and Public Policy from King’s College London, where he focussed on rare diseases policy, and a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, where he focussed on neuroscience.

Ms Beccy Weir

Ms Beccy Weir

Programme Manager

As Programme Manager, Beccy is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Paediatric Centre of Excellence Programme. Her responsibilities include running the national assessment process and providing ongoing support to hospitals to further develop their services.

Beccy started out her career as a Biology teacher, working in a variety of State, Grammar and Independent Schools over 7 years. Throughout her time teaching she took on a number of leadership roles, working to develop PSHE programmes and becoming both a Pastoral Lead and a Head of Department. She then chose to return to scientific research by completing an MRes in Green Materials at Imperial College London before working in laboratories exploring protein production and veterinary therapeutic molecules. As well as her PGCE and MRes, Beccy holds a BSc in Biology from Oxford Brookes where she focused on genetic control of evolution and development.

Dr Emily Linnane

Dr Emily Linnane

Dr Emily Linnane is the Scientific Manager of the CRUK Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence based at the University of Cambridge, CRUK Cambridge Institute. She supports the Mission on a variety of projects alongside her job at CRUK, and was recently involved with the analysis of Centres of Excellence data including clinical trials and ongoing research programmes.

Emily obtained her MRes in Molecular Oncology and PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the University of Liverpool. She later worked for an oncology biotechnology company as a pharmacologist before joining AstraZeneca as a Postdoctoral Fellow studying nucleic acid based therapeutics in KRAS mutant cancer models. Following her industrial postdoc, Emily joined the University of Cambridge as a Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate working on novel nanoparticles for drug delivery in hard-to-treat cancers; pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma and brain tumours.