BRUK is honoured and grateful to our Trusttees in promoting and supporting our research into Bowel Cancer and other Bowel Diseases which makes such a difference to the lives of so many. They have and continue to uphold our principles of funding the best quality research, concentrating on early career research through PhDs and proof of principle research grants.

Professor Charles H Knowles BChir, PhD FRCS



Charles Knowles is Professor of Surgery at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Consultant colorectal surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust. He qualified from the University of Cambridge and undertook general surgical training and a PhD in London. Professor Knowles is Deputy Director of the Blizard Institute (QMUL) and Honorary Professor of Experimental Therapeutics at UCL. He is Chair of several research committees including the European Society of Coloproctology. His research interests centre on the development and evaluation of new technologies for chronic bowel diseases including neuromodulation and cell therapies. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications as well as contributing major international colorectal and general surgical texts.

  • Professor of Surgery & Hon Cons. Colorectal Surgeon Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Hon. Professor of Metabolism and Experimental Therapeutics, University College London
  • Director National Bowel Research Centre
  • Deputy Director of Research, The Blizard Institute

Charles Mesquita


Charles is part of the Charities Team at Quilter Cheviot with responsibility for developing the firm’s specialist charity capability. Charles has 30 years’ investment experience working for leading financial institutions including Newton, Rensburg Sheppards (now Investec Wealth & Investment) and latterly, Stanhope Consulting. Charles founded the first Common Investment Fund investing in UK commercial property and established one of the first programme focused on ongoing education for charity trustees. Charles is also a Trustee of R L Glasspool, a national charity which helps people in hardship, and PRISM, which helps to promote and to facilitate charitable giving in a flexible and efficient manner.


Richard Pertwee BA (Oxon), JP, FRSA


A former Corporate Partner at Taylor Wessing LLP (an international law firm), Richard retired to pursue voluntary roles within the charitable sector. These included being a Magistrate (Adult and Youth), volunteer drug worker and then Chair of Trustees at Cranstoun (addiction services), two school governorships and mentoring through The School for Social Entrepreneurs. Founder of The Challenge Hub CIC. Educated at Sherborne School and Worcester College, Oxford. Fellow of the RSA.

Asha Senapati


Asha is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and has treated patients with bowel cancer and all other bowel diseases for many years. She was Chair of one of the founding charities and is now Co-Chair of BRUK.

She is a past President of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland. She has an active role in the academic and charity sectors concerned with bowel diseases and has spoken and published widely in these areas.

She works at St Mark’s Hospital in Harrow and at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

She believed that the two founding charities would be better together and worked with Paul Reynolds to achieve the merger and create Bowel Research UK.

Nicola Fearnhead


Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge

Nicola was President of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland in 2019/20.

She has been a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge since 2006. She studied medicine at Pembroke College, Cambridge and Merton College, Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Surgical training was undertaken in Bristol and Oxford followed by an International Fellowship in Advanced Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio during 2005.

Professor Marilena Loizidou


Marilena is Deputy Director of the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science (SIS) at UCL; and Head of the SIS Department at the Royal Free Campus.

After her undergraduate training in Biochemistry (McMasters University, Canada), she moved to the University of Southampton where she obtained her PhD in Solid Tumour Biology and Pharmacology and became lead clinical scientist at the University of Southampton/NHS. She moved to UCL to the academic department of Surgery, and became Head of Department in 2013.

Marilena is co-Founder and Director of the MSc in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine and the MSc in Surgical and Interventional Sciences.

Professor Dion Morton FRCS


Professor Morton is the Barling Chair of Surgery at the University of Birmingham and the CMO for the Midlands and South Genomic Medicine Service Alliance.  He was Chair of the Research Committee of the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) 2011 to 2019 and initiated the expansion of the clinical research portfolio and growth in international collaboration within the European colorectal community.  Currently, he is Chair of the Global Reach Committee.  Nationally he was Director of Clinical Research at the Royal College of Surgeons of England 2012-2019.

Kathryn Pretzel-Shiels


Kathryn is an international business and marketing leader renowned for creating customer-centric marketing strategies and commercially powerful B2B and B2C relationships.

She spent 28 years working at American Express across three continents, where she delivered positive growth in sales, marketing, and business development across multiple business units. Throughout her tenure she focused on driving customer engagement and increasing loyalty by developing high performing,  multicultural teams.  She joined PAUL  Ltd. in 2016, as Marketing Director where she led brand, digital, customer engagement, new product development, competitor insights, PR, and online and partnership sales channels.

Kathryn is on the UK Board of the International Women’s Forum where she chairs the Programme Committee and United Way UK.

Jim Tiernan MBChB PhD FRCS


Jim Tiernan is Chair of the ACPGBI Research and Audit Committee. He is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at the John Goligher Unit in Leeds and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Leeds. He undertook his surgical training throughout Yorkshire, during which he completed a PhD in nanobiotechnology, followed by a fellowship in Advanced Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA.  His clinical interests include advanced/recurrent colorectal cancer and complex inflammatory bowel disease. He is also the NIHR CRN Specialty Lead for Surgery in Yorkshire & Humber.

Taryn McHarg


Taryn is an experienced international business and finance leader renowned for operating in local and international health markets to provide financial oversight, regulatory compliance and innovative change in delivering corporate strategy and business value for key stakeholders.

Taryn is an Australian Chartered Accountant having trained at EY before moving into the health sector where she is currently working for a leading health insurance business.  Taryn has experience working across the sector in international markets including China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Mexico, the US, the UK, the Middle East and Europe.