DISCS Trustees

Christine L LeMaitre PhD (Chair) – Christine completed her BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology with industrial experience from Manchester University in 2000, and her PhD also from Manchester University in 2003. Following a number of years as a postdoctoral scientist, Prof Le Maitre was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in 2008. She was promoted to Reader in 2014. Prof Le Maitre is an internationally renowned researcher investigating musculoskeletal disorders and novel therapies. She also researches natural agents as potential therapeutics for Leukaemia.

Sean Patrick Francis Hughes MA MS FRCS-Ed(-Orth) FRCS FRSA FRCSI – Sean is Emeritus Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Imperial College London and is a retired orthopaedic surgeon who specialised in spinal surgery. His research interests were in the microcirculation of bone and pathogenesis of disc disease. His clinical research interests were in the surgery of spinal disorders along with musculoskeletal infection. In retirement he has pursued his fascination with medical history and completed an MA in History at King’s College London. He was until recently Chairman of DISCS.

Stephen Barham Carter BSc FCA – Stephen is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and Finance Director working in the aviation industry.

Humphrey Gordon Dawson -Humphrey is a semi-retired Solicitor specialising in International Commercial Civil Aviation with wide experience of acting for International clients buying, selling and leasing airliners around the World and acting in all the usual commercial agreements relating to their operation and maintenance. Humphrey also gained considerable experience in related litigation and mediation in several jurisdictions. Humphrey’s involvement with DISCS arose through his pre-1988 connection as a then Partner in a City firm of Solicitors with a client of the firm, Philip Clayton, now deceased, who as a Patient of Henry Crock helped establish DISCS as a Charity in 1993. Humphrey as a friend of the Clayton family became a Trustee of DISCS in 2007 following the retirement of Leslie Pike, an original Trustee and the lawyer who had dealt with the Trust’s creation.

Alison H McGregor PhD – Alison McGregor is a Professor of Musculoskeletal Biodynamics in the Department of Surgery and Cancer, where she manages the Human Performance Group. She trained as a physiotherapist at King’s College Hospital qualifying in 1989 and then went on to study Biomedical Engineering at Surrey University which led to a PhD project in spinal mechanics and low back pain at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.

John O’Dowd – John is a reconstructive spinal surgeon and opinion leader. He has been president of the Society for Back Pain Research, and founder and education director of AOSpine the leading spinal surgical organisation globally. He is medical director of RealHealth in the Netherlands, a national referral centre for non surgical care in patients with chronic back pain. He is chairman of Cure International UK, a charity delivering paediatric orthopaedic care in Africa and the Middle East.

John Edwin Nixon MB ChB MA (Oxon) ChM FRCS – John helps to establish the diagnosis and advise on the management of complex orthopaedic problems at The London Clinic. He was Clinical Reader in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Oxford, then as Consultant to Kings College Hospital and currently as Honorary Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to Charing Cross Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer to Imperial College London. Over the past 30 years he has had the opportunity to develop in depth expertise in a wide variety of routine and complex orthopaedic conditions.

John Stephen Partington – John raised money for DISCs in 2010 and joined the charity in 2011. John has set up and run several businesses, thereby bringing a commercial aspect to DISCs.

Robert Charles Schroter PhD DIC FCGI FIChemE CEng – Bob is Emeritus Professor of Biological Mechanics and a Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College London, being one of the founders of what is now the Bioengineering Department. Educated initially as a chemical engineer, his lifelong career has been in the field of physiological mechanics, involving innovative applications of engineering science to biology and human and veterinary medicine. Research has focussed mainly on normal and pathological respiratory and cardiovascular mechanics and the effects of extreme environments, but also on biomechanics – establishing the Biodynamics Group in 2000 investigating exercise, performance thermal stress in large animals and human athletes. Aspects of his research have had significant implications beyond the academic environment, contributing to the setting of international standards for both human and animal activities and welfare and criminal forensics.


Anne Garley



Patrick Boland MD FRCS FRCP – Dr. Boland is a full-time, senior member of the Orthopaedic Service, Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York), where he specializes in the management of malignant and benign tumors of the bones, including those of the spine and pelvis, and in soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities. He also has special training in limb salvage surgery—that is the removal of the limb cancers while preserving a functional extremity.

Lord Oxburgh KBE FRS – Lord

Dame Beryl Grey CH DBE


Henry Vernon Crock AO MD MS FRCS FRACS FRCS Ed (Hon) Hon DSc (Univ Melbourne) 1929-2018

Vice Presidents

Keith Graham Preston MBA FRICS

Leslie Lonsdale Pike