List of Trustees

Founder: Dr Richard Tonkin MD FRCP
Co-founder: Mr Harold Wicks

Current Trustees

Chair; Prof Nicola Robinson

Professor Nicola Robinson is Professor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Integrated Health at London South Bank University (LSBU). She works closely with the Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine at LSBU, a joint initiative with Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin Normal University and the Office of Chinese Language Council International, China (Hanban).

Previously, Nicola was Professor/ Head of the Centre of Complementary Healthcare and Integrated Medicine at the University of West London (UWL), previously known as Thames Valley University. Prior to joining UWL she was  consultant epidemiologist for Brent and Harrow Health Authority and Honorary Senior lecturer in Primary Healthcare, University College London. She graduated from Leicester University with a BSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences. Her doctoral work on bladder cancer at the Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute (Manchester University) was in immunology. She is a registered acupuncturist with the British Acupuncture Council. In 1985 Nicola was awarded an RD Lawrence Fellowship by the British Diabetic Association and in 1993 she was given an Honorary Membership of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine for her contribution to epidemiology and health services research. In 2004, Nicola was awarded a Winston Churchill Traveling Fellowship to visit China, to explore educational and research initiatives in Traditional Chinese Medicine at various universities and healthcare centers.

Nicola has a keen interest in TCM and complementary medicine and its assimilation and integration into mainstream health care. She has been involved in various initiatives within the acupuncture profession and a member of various professional committees;  such as the Institutional review panel for Advertising and Borderline Products (MHRA).  the International Advisory Board for Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, and  of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Complementary Therapies Clinical Studies Development Group. She is Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Integrated Health, Nicola has written over 150 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals, prepared scientific reports covering a wide range of subject arenas. She has various research links in China and has had successfully supervised both Chinese and UK PhD students.


Dr Celia Bell, PhD

Celia Bell is Head of Department of Natural Sciences at Middlesex University.  Having graduated originally from UCL, she went on to complete an MSc in Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Biochemistry at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.  She worked in research at both of these institutions, first on protein turnover in muscle and subsequently on the biochemical basis of migraine and Parkinson’s disease.  Since joining Middlesex University, Celia has continued to be involved in laboratory based and clinical research, including developing an interest in natural products (herbs, herbal extracts and nutraceuticals) as medicines, investigating the use and mechanisms of action both in clinical settings and in the laboratory. 

Celia has been closely involved in developing professional programmes in Complementary Health disciplines at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including the first BSc in Western Herbal Medicine in the country in1994 at Middlesex University and subsequently degrees in Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. She is currently a member of the Accreditation Board of the European Herbal and Traditional Practitioners Association.


Simon Brasch, MA

Simon is an information specialist whose main area of expertise is around content strategy for websites and other digital platforms. He graduated with an MA in Information Management at Thames Valley University in 2002.  Simon has managed several website and database projects for different national charities including Help the Hospices and Turn2us. He is a manager at Chelmsford public library in Essex. Simon has also collaborated on a number of publications including:

  • Barriers to the Development of Palliative Care in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2009.
  • Facts and indicators on palliative care development in 52 countries of the WHO European region: results of an EAPC task force, Palliative Medicine 2007.
  • EAPC Atlas of Palliative Care in Europe, Lancaster University 2007.


Carol Granger, MSc MSB CBiol NTCC MBANT

Carol Granger is a practicing nutritional therapist with an honours degree in biochemistry and a Master’s in microbiology. She has been a Chartered Biologist since 1986 and has two decades of experience in bioscience research, diagnostics and medical technology before a career change to nutritional therapy.

Carol is currently undertaking research for a Professional Doctorate in Health, and is committed to evidence-based practice, professional regulation and advancing standards in nutritional therapy. She is a member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) Profession Specific Board (PSB) for Nutritional Therapy. She is Chair of the Nutritional Therapy Council (NTC) and has led the NTC Accreditation assessment panel for a number of nutritional therapy courses applying for accreditation to the National Occupational Standard (NOS).

She has co-authored papers on intravenous therapy, parenteral nutrition, human tissue banking, non-surgical management of ascites, and a patent on intensive care technology. She is currently a member of the Nutrition Society, and for many years was a member of the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) and an active member of the British Pharmaceutical Nutrition Group (BPNG), including a working party on contamination in parenteral feeding. She is also a Member of the Society of Biology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.


Dr Janine Leach, BSc PhD DO ND

After a PhD in medical physics in 1978, Janine spent several decades in epidemiology and health services research in cancer. She qualified as an osteopath in 1992 and has practiced in parallel with her research career. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow in Osteopathy at the University of Brighton, and a member of the National Council for Osteopathic Research (NCOR).  She is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. She has published more than 50 scientific papers. Her professional activities include being a Trustee of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine and past president of the British Naturopathic Association.

Her research interests currently are on the role of osteopathy in headache and migraine; quality of life of patients with cancer and symptoms such as lymphoedema; and evaluating the risks of osteopathic treatment.


Nick Pahl, MSc

Nick is CEO of The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), the leading self-regulatory body for the practice of traditional acupuncture in the UK. BAcC is a member-led organisation, governed by an elected governing board and driven by a specialist staff team. BAcC provides members with a wide range of services to facilitate their practice. It also acts for the traditional acupuncture profession as a whole.

Nick graduated with an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1998, and previously was Assistant Director in a London NHS PCT. He has also held posts as a Director of a national hospice charity and adviser to Marie Stopes International.


Dr Madan Thangavelu, PhD

Madan is a genome biologist with a diverse academic background and range of research interests, Madan was born in India, home of Ayurvedic and other herbal systems of therapy and medicine.

His B.Sc. in Agriculture and M.Sc. in Plant Breeding and Genetics are from the Haryana Agricultural University, India, and PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Cambridge where he also conducted post-doctoral research in human cancer genomics.    Current research interests include the development of single DNA molecule and single cell techniques for genome analysis.  At the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology and later at the Medical Research Council - Cancer Cell Unit and Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Madan developed novel approaches and applications of single DNA molecule and single cell methodology for analysis of genomes and genome dynamics and genome variation.  These techniques provide insight into nuclear, mitochondrial and epigenomic plasticity and novel ways to map and describe DNA changes in normal processes like aging and disease including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases and inherited diseases.

Madan interacts extensively with universities and institutes in India including Institute for Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine ( an initiative of , the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, S-VYASA - The “Yoga University” (, Institute of Post Graduate Teaching & Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University (  He is a member of the Editorial Board of AYU, An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda ( & Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (


AJ Yates,  BSc (Hons) MSc MCPP MlfL

‘AJ’ graduated with a degree in herbal medicine from Middlesex University in 2002, after becoming interested in herbal medicine through an adult education course.  Since graduating, apart from raising a family, he has run a part-time practice in Milton Keynes, and is a member of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy.

In 2007, he started a part-time MSc in medical anthropology at Brunel University.  He gained a distinction in 2009 after completing his dissertation on the usage of western herbal medicine at an NHS GPs' surgery.  In 2011, he gained a teaching qualification for post-compulsory education via Oxford Brookes University.

AJ is currently undertaking a PhD at The University of Westminster investigating the experience and usage of western herbal medicine.  In addition, he is chair on the board of directors for the Archway Herbal Clinic in London.


Patti Williams

After spending over 35 years in the Financial Services Industry, managing company secretarial, administration, accounting and compliance matters, Patti now provides business and financial consultancy services to organisations mainly in the charity sector.




Sarah North

Sarah has an extensive professional background in health regulation, including governance, policy, and strategy research and implementation, with a strong commitment to quality assurance. She has worked for over twenty years in health regulation initially for the General Medical Council and then was instrumental in setting up a new regulator, the UK Public Health Register, set up in 2003. She currently works for Public Health England. Sarah has an interest in complementary medicine for use with conventional veterinary   treatments, in particular Shiatsu for horses.



Craig Vassie

Craig is a Chartered Engineer with a background in high value project management, and prior experience of charity fundraising and administration. He has been in practice as a Clinical Aromatherapist since 1996, and has a strong interest in CAM, and effective research.




Maurice Cheng

Maurice Cheng, Chief Executive, The Institute of Osteopathy

Maurice is CEO of the Institute of Osteopathy, with a background in strategic research and marketing consultancy.  Since 2000 he has specialised in association management for professional bodies, as Director of Member Services for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and as Chief Executive of the Institute of Healthcare Management, and the Institute of Payroll Professionals.  In addition to his role at the iO, Maurice also holds an interim CEO role at the Association of Costs Lawyers, and as a trustee of North London YMCA, and the National Council for Osteopathic Research (NCOR).

Maurice believes strongly in the value that osteopathy and other complementary branches of medicine can bring to public health, and a strong advocate in the need to provide more and better information and evidence about their efficacy.








Last updated on25 August, 2016 - 08:37
Created on23 December, 2010 - 16:19