We are deeply saddened by the passing of Aisling Burnand, a valued member of our Public Advisory Board. Aisling leaves a long-lasting legacy of ensuring patients and the public are both heard and central to ways of working across research.

Aisling Burnand MBE was a cancer patient and a lifelong supporter of health research. In 2021, she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and stepped down from her full-time position, deciding to dedicate her time and experience to advocating for better patient outcomes from research. Her most recent role was Chief Executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities where she represented the interests of over 150 medical research charities and the patients they serve.

Aisling was a passionate supporter of the responsible use of data for research and care, as well as Patient and Public Involvement, and consequently she has collaborated with many organizations in the area of data, including Understanding Patient Data and HDR UK. She served on the Research Advisory Group to NHS Digital and on the NHS Digitrials Advisory Board. She was also an advisor to The Brain Tumour Charity’s ‘BRAIN’ Database patient panel.

Aisling’s previous roles include Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association and Executive Director of Policy and Public Affairs at CRUK and was a trustee of LifeArc, a medical research charity. She was awarded an MBE in 2007 for services to science.