About us Meet the team Trustees Trustees We are privileged to have the support of our voluntary Board of Trustees. Our Trustees are elected or co-opted in line with the terms of Trust Deed and serve initially for a period of three years. The Trustees are responsible for preparing the Trust's Report and Financial Statements and are also responsible for keeping accounting record and ensure that all financial statements comply with the Charities Act, the Charity (Accounts and Reports) Regulations and the provisions of the Trust Deed. They also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and providing expert advice and guidance. Current Trustees Richard Tolkien, Chair of Trustees Richard has worked in the financial sector for over 30 years, now acting as a non-executive director for two companies and as an independent expert witness. Richard's passion for Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research continues to be motivated by the memory of his brother David who spent nine months rehabilitating at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) following a spinal cord injury. Professor Rob Brownstone We are delighted that Professor Robert Brownstone became a trustee of SMSR in 2017. Professor Brownstone works at University College London (UCL) in the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience. Here, work in the lab aims to understand how motor circuits contribute to rehabilitation of movement in disease or injury. As movement is affected in many neurological conditions, his research program has widespread impact for the development of new strategies to improve movement in people with neurological disorders. He joined UCL from Dalhousie University in Canada, where he was a Professor in the Departments of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Medical Neuroscience, and a neurosurgeon at the QE11 Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Mr Nigel Henderson, Honorary Board Secretary Nigel came to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1986 as a consultant orthopaedic and spinal surgeon. He developed a close relationship with the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) and the surgical management of the patients there. He was Clinical Director of the NSIC for 5 years before his retirement from the NHS in 2018. This gave him the opportunity for closer involvement in the development of spinal cord injury services locally and nationally and he served as a member, then chair, of the Spinal Cord Injury committee of the NHS England Spinal Services Group concerned with service organisation, specification and commissioning. Amanda Martin Amanda has over 25 years experience of fundraising, publishing and marketing for not-for-profit organisations in the UK and overseas. She currently works on major fundraising campaigns for Heart of Bucks Community Foundation, alongside consultancy and voluntary work for other healthcare, research and membership organisations. Jamie Polk In 2000, Jamie had a diving accident that left him paralysed from the chest down. Following this life changing incident, Jamie decided work needed to be something that he really loved doing, so he left the city and set up his own art dealership - the Animal Art Fair. Jamie is a passionate supporter to SMSR and helps raise awareness of the vital work we do through our Ambassador programme. Phillipe Vienot, Treasurer Philippe has worked in the financial sector for over 20 years, in both corporate and real estate finance. Following a motorbike accident in 2011, he became paralysed from the chest down. Phillipe strongly supports SMSR's goal to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries and in particular overcoming the daily obstacles to being able to work. Phillipe is current Treasurer at SMSR. We would like to thank Nurole, the recruitment platform for senior executive and board roles, for helping us to find Phillipe and appoint him as our Treasurer. Richard Montgomery Richard spent over 30 years in Investment Banking in the City, and currently acts as a Non Executive Director for several companies and Chief Investment Officer for a Family Office. He has friends and colleagues who have suffered spinal cord injuries. Professor Sue Barnett Professor Barnett is Professor of Cellular Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow. She gained her PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, was a visiting Fogarty Fellow at NIH, in Bethesda, USA, obtained a Wellcome Trust University Award, and was an MS Society Senior Research Fellow. Her post-doctoral training position was at the Ludwig Institute in London, where she gained her experience in neuroscience and glial cell biology as well as regenerative medicine and cell transplantation as a strategy for CNS repair. She also, identified a method to purify and grow olfactory ensheathing cells and was a co-author on one of the first papers to transplant oligodendrocyte progenitor cells into a rat model of CNS injury (Nature 362:453-5). Recently her work focuses on herparin mimetics and a stem cell from human nasal biopsies as novel strategies for CNS repair. She is a member of the scientific committee for International Spinal Research Trust, reviews for a wide range of grant funders and Journals. She is on the editorial board for Glia. She has maintained her research group by external funding since 1990. She was previously on the Scientific Advisory Board of SMSR and joined the Board of Trustees in October 2022.