Trustees and staff
Our trustees founded UCARE in June 2007. They are responsible for UCARE's governance, and are involved in the charity's management and direction.
Jim Mitchell, Chairman
Jim trained as an accountant but at the tender age of twenty five decided there was more fun to be had in Marketing and Sales. He worked for Unilever/Birds Eye for a 15 year period before starting his own companies specialising in energy saving lighting and later solar voltaics in the commercial market.
He is now happily retired, living in the lovely market town of Thame with his wife of 49 years, Carol. He gets the golf clubs out a couple of times a week take them for a walk then pop them back in the garage.
I undertook my undergraduate medical training at the University of Sheffield, where I completed an intercalated BMedSci degree in pathology in 1995, and I completed undergraduate medical and surgical training in 1998. After completing my House Officer year followed by Basic Surgical Training in South Yorkshire in 2003, I was awarded a Medical Research Council Fellowship (2004-2007) and undertook a PhD researching molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer progression. I then undertook Higher Surgical Training in Urology in both Sheffield and Oxford, whilst in parallel continuing to pursue my prostate cancer research interests, leading to numerous scientific publications in this field.
I was appointed Locum Consultant Urologist in Oxford in 2015 and continued to combine clinical practice, specialising in the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer, with prostate cancer research. In 2017 I was appointed Honorary Consultant Urologist in Oxford, and I commenced a programme of pre-clinical translational research into multi-modality therapy for prostate cancer, having been awarded a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship.
I am joint-Chief Investigator (along with my colleague Alastair Lamb) in the NIHR-HTA-funded TRANSLATE clinical trial (investigating local anaesthetic transperineal prostate biopsy versus transrectal prostate biopsy).
William is a Consultant Urological Surgeon with a specialist interest in open, laparoscopic and robotic kidney cancer surgery. He also looks after and performs surgery for patients with other cancerous and non cancerous urological condition.
He began his medical training at the University of Cambridge gaining his intercalated degree in Medical Sciences and the History and Philosophy of Science in 2007. He completed his clinical studies at Guy’s King’s and St Thomas’ Medical School, London graduating in 2010. He undertook his core surgical training in Sussex before completing his higher surgical training in the East of Scotland rotating through hospitals in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee. After undertaking a locum consultant post at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary he moved to Oxford to take up his substantive post.
He is actively involved in collaborative research having been appointed an honorary clinical lecturer at Aberdeen University. He has worked on several large systematic reviews including papers on behalf of the European Association of Urologists Guidelines Panel and lead authorship of a Cochrane Review.
Ken has worked in the golf and leisure industry for the last 32 years, during this time he has designed owned and operated 14 leisure facilities including Country Clubs, Hotels, Health Clubs, Restaurants/Bars and Night Clubs.
His current business is Studley Wood Golf Club, Oxford.
Alastair Lamb MA(Oxon) MBChB PhD FRCS(Urol)
Alastair is a Senior Fellow in robotic surgery and Honorary Consultant Urologist.
His research goal is to provide a robust molecular platform for accurate decision-making in early stage prostate cancer.
His clinical work focuses on delivering excellent and timely prostate cancer care, using state-of-the-art diagnostics. He has a particular interest in pushing the boundaries of minimal access surgery (MIS), for example to performing cytoreductive radical prostectomy in locally advanced or metastatic disease and RARP in older men.
Tom Leslie MB ChB BSc(Hons) D.PHIL FRCS(Urol)
Tom is a Consultant Urological Surgeon in Oxford and Milton Keynes. His main clinical areas of interest are robotic prostatectomy, diagnosis of prostate cancer including targeted and template biopsies, minimally invasive treatments for prostate cancer such as HIFU and brachytherapy, general urology, and vasectomy.
Tom completed his undergraduate and basic surgical training at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He moved to Oxford in 2004 and completed a D.Phil in Surgery at the University of Oxford. He was then appointed as a Clinical Lecturer in Urology in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford; in this post he combined research with specialist registrar training in Urology in the Oxford Deanery.
He is married with two children. Outside work, he is a mad keen sports fan and watches (or plays!) cricket, rugby and golf when family life allows.
Seetal qualified as a dental surgeon in 2000 and currently owns a dental practice in Oxford. Her late husband, Mr Nilay Patel was appointed as a consultant urological surgeon in February 2012. He was a renal surgeon with a specialist interest in renal cancer and autotransplant surgery. Nilay was passionate about his work and cared deeply for patients.
Because of Nilay's commitment to this field Seetal felt inspired to join the UCARE board of trustees since October 2014, and she hopes to build a lasting legacy in his memory.
Jeremy Posnansky QC
Jeremy was at the Bar for 35 years before becoming a partner in Farrer & Co, solicitors. He has also been a Deputy High Court Judge for many years, deciding cases in the Family Division. His practice is now highly specialist in divorce and family law, in which he has appeared in many of the leading cases of recent years. In his early days in practice he had a more varied professional diet.
Jeremy is now semi-retired and a Consultant with Farrer & Co. When not at work, he enjoys travel, theatre, vegetable-growing(!) and family life (he has two daughters and four grandchildren). He was an Ambassador for UCare before becoming a trustee in 2019.
Val Berry, Senior Executive
I am responsible for all aspects of the day to day running of UCARE, assisting the Trustees in the charity's development and fundraising, and ensuring that we operate according to charity sector governance. In various capacities over the past few years, my workplace experience has provided me with a valuable perspective of differing modes of practice and ever increasing responsibility in the charity sector.
I come from a background of nursing and have experience in working in both the NHS and independent research environment, all of which have contributed positively UCARE's development.
I started working for UCARE as their Development Officer in 2008, and for a long time have been their only member of staff! So, my previous roles which included the organising and hosting of national and international academic symposiums, as well as working in the governance and management of pioneering research served me well.
I am proud to have been with UCARE since it's inception and see each stage of growth.
Gemma Crane, Lead Community Nurse
Gemma qualified from Nottingham with a Masters in Nursing and initially worked in London, before moving to Oxford as a cancer nurse specialist working in Uro-Oncology. During this time she helped to establish and develop the service concentrating on the holistic care and management of patients. She was involved in the initial set up of the TYA service as well as a role within the cancer network and was a member of the National Cancer Research Institute Testicular Cancer Clinical Studies Group.
Gemma also has worked as a Macmillan Development Manager in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire before moving into the private sector on a nurse consultancy basis both developing services and raising standards.
She works part time for UCARE as the Lead Community Nurse to enable her to coordinate a busy life with young children. Gemma has led the UCARE community strategy and has set up numerous innovative community events to raise awareness of urological cancer as well as how to live healthier lives.
She has extensive experience within the NHS, independent providers and charities. She believes in the quality of service that should be offered to the patients and is an advocate for high quality standardised care.