Board of Trustees

Rob Bryan

Chair of the Board

Independent Trustee

Rob sits on the board of several major companies working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM, including the Open Data Institute and Medicines Discovery Catapult. As the founder of BPE Innovation (in July 2010), Rob was encouraged by the Royal Society to establish the UK’s first and, still, only dedicated legal service to STEM. Working at the interface between the private sector and Government in the UK’s innovation community, Rob has been involved in the establishment of most of the major publicly funded companies created in recent years to fill the innovation ‘gap’ in the sectors which they serve.

Prof Sir Colin Blakemore, FMedSci, HonFRCP, HonFRSM, HonFRSB, MAE, FRS

Yeung Kin Man Chair Professor of Neuroscience, City University of Hong Kong

Independent Trustee


Sir Colin is a neurobiologist, specialising in vision and the development of the brain, who is Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy in the School of Advanced Study, University of London and Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. He was formerly Chief Executive of the British Medical Research Council. According to The Observer, he is"one of the most powerful scientists in the UK". 

Ian Campbell, PhD

Chief Business Officer


Ian is Chief Business Officer (CBO) at LifeArc, a medical research charity. Ian was previously Executive Chair at Innovate UK, and before that Director for Health and Life Sciences. Prior to Innovate, Ian was Chief Executive of Arquer Diagnostics, a company developing and commercialising immunoassay tests for cancers of the urogenital tract. A graduate of the University of Glasgow, Ian holds a PhD in Biochemistry.

Nick Caplin, CB

Chief Executive Officer

Blind Veterans UK

CEO of Blind Veterans UK since 2014, Nick has over 33 years’ experience of command, leadership and management of military and civilian personnel in all three Defence Services.

Ton Rijnders, PhD

Independent Trustee


Ton holds a PhD in molecular biology. He joined the Dutch pharmaceutical company Organon in 1986 and moved to the position of Vice President Research in 2003. After the acquisition of Organon by Schering-Plough in 2007,Ton was appointed VP Discovery and Site Head Oss and continued this position after the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough. In 2011 Ton co-founded TI Pharma, a public private partnership in drug discovery, and acted as its Scientific Director. He continued this work after the merger of CTMM and TI Pharma into Lygature in 2016. Ton currently holds the position of General Director at Oncode Institute. By combining individual excellence and collaborative development, Oncode works towards innovative cancer treatments. He uses his experience to bring together the great minds of cancer research in The Netherlands.​

Craig Spalding
Chief Executive Officer

Sight Scotland Veterans

Craig is the Chief Executive of Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans, having joined the organisation in January 2022. Craig initially trained as a microbiologist, and worked in the food and pharmaceutical fields for a number of years, predominantly in quality management roles. He then moved to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service where he held a number of positions in quality management and medical services, with a focus on service transformation. He has subsequently held senior management positions at th Irish Blood Transfusion Service, and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service prior to joining Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans.

Cathy Yelf

Chief Executive Officer

Macular Society

Cathy is a former BBC journalist who has worked in the sight loss sector for 10 years, the last three as CEO of the Macular Society. She is also a Trustee of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).