Dr Knowles has been a Non-Executive Director of Adaptimmune since 2010 and became Chairman in November 2013. He was formerly President of Group Research and a Member of the Executive Committee at F.Hoffman-LaRoche Limited, Basel, Switzerland for 12 years. Dr Knowles also served as a Board member at Genentech Inc. for over ten years and was a Member of the Board of Chugai Pharmaceuticals, Tokyo, Japan. Prior to joining Roche in 1997, he was Research Director, Glaxo Wellcome Europe.
Dr Knowles has also served as Chairman of the Hever Group and the EFPIA Research Directors Group. He was instrumental in creating the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and was the first Chairman of the Board of IMI (a 2 Billion Euro Joint Undertaking with the EU Commission). He is a Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) at the University of Helsinki, Finland, holds a visiting chair at the University of Oxford, and is a visiting scholar of Pembroke College, Cambridge.