About Genesis Research Trust

About Us

Founded in 1978, Genesis Research Trust, based at Imperial College London, is the largest collaboration of reproductive health researchers in the UK.

It is the only charity of its kind to lie consistently at the heart of original leading-edge research investigating why and how things can go wrong with conception, pregnancy and birth; delivering real evidence-based results for medical treatments and outcomes of worldwide significance.

Having already transformed the lives of many parents-to-be, we know that there is the potential to achieve far more and an urgent need to do so.

Our mission

We are world-class scientists and doctors, passionate about giving everyone who wants to have children the chance to experience a healthy pregnancy and have a healthy family.

Our mission is to fund original research to investigate the causes of infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth and find better ways to diagnose and treat them.

Because our research is so fundamental, it’s likely our work has already had an impact on your life or someone you know. Anyone who’s had IVF, for example, has benefited directly from our research and the work of our founder and chairman, Professor Robert Winston.

Hormonal cures for infertility, treatments that help reduce the chances of miscarriage, a revolutionary treatment for womb cancer, and ways to screen embryos for fatal genes are just a few of the other major medical advances we’ve pioneered, and transferred to everyday practice.

We fund research we believe will make the most difference to people wanting to become parents. And by supporting internationally-renowned scientists and doctors to collaborate across UK hospitals, universities and our own state-of-the-art research facilities, we speed the pace of progress and ensure that we will continue to make the breakthroughs we know are possible.

Chairman – Professor Lord Winston

Lord Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College is the founding Chairman of the Genesis Research Trust.

Professor Lord Winston developed and refined gynaecological surgical techniques to improve fertility treatments in the early 1970s. Later he pioneered many treatments to improve in vitro fertilisation, and subsequently developed pre-implantation diagnosis which allows the diagnosis of fatal genetic disorders in embryos. This work enabled many families to have a child free of fatal illnesses, including those with sex‐linked disorders, single gene defects such as cystic fibrosis and chromosomal abnormalities. Chromosomal abnormality is an important cause of miscarriage so this work has had a wide impact.

Professor Lord Winston is a Faraday Medal holder from the Royal Society and has had many other prizes for his work. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Education and the Institute of Biology. He has received seventeen honorary doctorates from universities across the world in recognition of his work. He was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005 and is currently a member of Council and Chairman of the Societal Issues Panel at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University. In Parliament, he used his extensive scientific expertise for work on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill and was voted “Peer of the Year” in 2008 by his fellow parliamentarians.

He has gained the respect of the public by his efforts to communicate the “excitement of science”, which he does through his award winning BBC programmes and numerous books. His innovative teaching programmes for schoolchildren at Imperial College are gaining wide recognition. One of his children’s books “What makes me, me” is translated into over 35 languages, and his latest book for adults “Bad Ideas” is about the ways scientific discoveries are made. He has published over 300 research papers in scientific journals. Professor Lord Winston is also Chairman of the Royal College of Music and a member of the Council of Surrey University. He has three children, one of whom is a scientist.

Trustees

Linda Loftus

Director of her own company Marks Productions Ltd, which is involved in the entertainment industry, Linda has always been interested in science and has an eclectic and comprehensive collection of science fiction books. Linda’s early career started in advertising and marketing across a number of industries including construction, mobile telephony and film and television. She is involved in a number of charities including Camp Simcha, an organisation that improves the quality of life of children suffering from Cancer or other life threatening illnesses. However, Genesis Research Trust is particularly close to her heart as without the expertise and care of Professor Robert Winston and his team, she would not be alive today nor have a teenage daughter.

Lord Mitchell

As an entrepreneur in business he was the chairman and founder of Syscap plc – an IT service company which he sold in 2006. He is currently the chair of The Coexistence Trust, which seeks to improve relations between Jews and Muslims on UK campuses. He is also chair and founder of the eLearning Foundation which enables school children from socially backgrounds to have constant school and home access to laptop computers for learning. He is also a trustee of Weizmann UK also the Lowy Mitchell Foundation which is a family charity. He was ennobled as a Labour peer in 2000. He has a BSc (Econ) from the University of London and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, New York

Philip Bennett

Professor Phillip Bennett BSc PHD MD FRCOG is one of the country’s leading academics in obstetrics. He was promoted to professor at a young age and has held the position with distinction since 1996. Phillip Bennett was born and educated in Kent and graduated in medical education at St George’s Hospital London in 1982. His papers are regularly published in a number of journals. He is an excellent lecturer and has an international reputation based on his scientific research. Professor Bennett’s commitment to the health service is considerable as he also runs an obstetric service both at Hammersmith Hospital and Queen Charlotte’s Hospital. In his spare time Phil enjoys sailing and riding his motorbike – he is also an accomplished pianist.

Angela Hodes

Angela Hodes is a barrister with extensive experience in all aspects of family and matrimonial law and now known for her work in the Court of Protection in cases concerning health and welfare decision making for adults who lack capacity where she is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor. She is an accredited mediator and regularly mediates a range of family, health and social care disputes. Beyond her own practice she is an honorary legal advisor and on the management committee of a national children’s charity for fostering and adoption.

Anthony Rosenfelder

Anthony Rosenfelder is Chairman, Managing Director and founder in 1993 of Veritas Asset Management AG. He is Director of The Real Return Group and Veritas Asset Management (UK) Limited. Head of International Private Clients. Director and Portfolio Manager, Rothschild Bank A.G., Zurich 1987 to 1993. Prior to that he spent several years in corporate finance in the USA and UK. Other: Vice Chairman and Trustee of The British Friends of Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, Jerusalem; Trustee of The Dorset Foundation Bermuda, The British Friends of Harvard Business School and Genesis Research Trust. Education: B.Sc. (Econ), London School of Economics, MBA, Harvard Business School.

Catherine Williamson

Professor Catherine Williamson MD FRCP has been Professor of Obstetric Medicine at Imperial College since 2007. She is a leading clinical researcher in maternal medicine in the UK and internationally. Her principal research focus is on the maternal and fetal aetiology and outcomes of a common liver disease of pregnant women, obstetric cholestasis (OC). She is part of the UK team running a clinical trial to find the best treatments. Catherine also uses a large database to study the outcome of tumours of endocrine glands in pregnant women in the UK, with the aim of improving treatment for affected mothers and their unborn babies. She also works on prediction of diseases in pregnant women. Catherine is an author of the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths and is a member of the genetic steering group of the UK Genetics of Pre-eclampsia consortium. Professor Williamson receives referrals to the specialist obstetric medicine clinic at Queen Charlotte’s & Hammersmith Hospital from colleagues in the UK and internationally and regularly speaks about medical disorders of pregnancy at international courses and conferences. Catherine has two children and in her spare time, enjoys cycling, swimming and days out with her family.

Stephen Franks

Stephen Franks is Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology at Imperial College Faculty of Medicine and Consultant Endocrinologist at St Mary’s and Hammersmith Hospitals, London. He trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and his initial research was in disorders of human prolactin secretion under the supervision of Howard Jacobs and John Nabarro at the Middlesex Hospital, London. He then spent 2 years as a postdoctoral research fellow in reproductive endocrinology in the lab of Dr Fred Naftolin at McGill University, Montreal (funded by an MRC Travelling Fellowship) before returning to resume his training in endocrinology with Bill Hoffenberg in Birmingham. He is a former Chairman of the Society for Endocrinology (UK), currently sits on their Clinical Committee and is a long-term member of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. He is a former editor of the journal, Clinical Endocrinology.