How we work

Human Cell Mitosis snip

Human cell mitosis

The Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine is both a charity (registered in England no: 206271) and a Company limited by guarantee (No:  England 34479).  The Trustees of the Charity who constitute the Institute’s Governing Body are also the Directors of the Company.  There are three staff, two of whom are part-time; the institute does not operate from a central office and all staff work from their own homes.  However the Institute does have a formal Registered Office Address (Macfarlanes, 10, Norwich Street, London EC4A 1BD) and a PO Box Business Address for all contact and correspondence – click Contact us button on home page for details.

The Institute’s activities and how it operates are determined by its Articles of Association, the latest version of which were adopted in September 2011.  The charitable objects of the Institute are:-

To support and promote for the public benefit scientific research into and study of the causes, prevention and treatment of disease in man and animals, the study of biology in any form, or any other science in its relation to the health of man or animals, the study of any agency or discovery affecting or likely to affect human health, the study of the composition, properties and powers of any article of food or drink, or medicine, the study of air, water, animals, vegetables, minerals, chemical substances and other environmental agents in their possible relation to human health; 

To provide for the public benefit instruction and education in preventive medicine to human and animal health professionals, students and others:


Formal oversight of all the Institute’s activities rests with the Governing Body who may delegate elements of this to specialist committees and the Director.  The Scientific Advisory Committee oversees the scientific and medical activities including the award  of the Research  Prize Fellowships, whilst The Finance and Investment Committee has responsibility for the annual budget and the management, via specialist advisors, of the Institute’s investment portfolio.

The Institute’s income, and hence how much we can spend each year on the Research Prize Fellowships and any other awards, is determined by the performance of our investment portfolio.  The portfolio, currently around £30m, is split between two highly reputable firms of investment managers who each oversee one half of the investments to maximise return commensurate with the degree of ‘risk’ determined by the Institute.

All members of the Governing Body, other Institute Committees, and former Fellows are Members of the Institute with the right to vote on key issues at the Institute’s Annual General Meeting.  This is usually held alongside the Fellows Scientific Meeting where presentations are made by new, current and former Fellows.

The Institute constantly reviews what it does to ensure that our awards are relevant and continue to meet the needs of the research community.  The history of the Institute illustrates our ability to change and adapt and, we hope, to support research in innovative ways.  We have travelled far in moving from the first laboratory in the UK producing anti-toxins and anti-sera to the current provision of ‘unrestrictive’ research funding to young researchers.  You can find out more by clicking on Our Heritage, the History of Awards and judge our success by clicking Our Achievements.

As a medical research charity in the UK the Institute does not work alone, we are a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and, as such, follow their advice and guidance on such matters as peer review, conflicts of interest and animal experimentation.  In 2015 the AMRC audited the peer review process of its member charities and the Institute received an AMRC Certificate confirming approval of its review process.  See  Declaration of Interests Guidance Notes 1 (2) Declaration of Interests Policy 2 (2) for the Institute’s Declaration of Interests guidance notes and policy.