Aisling Burnand

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Aisling Maria Burnand, MBE (born 22 December 1964) is a British business executive and consultant. In 2009 she joined Cancer Research UK as Executive Director of Policy & Public Affairs.[1] in 2013 she became chief executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities.[2]


Burnand worked as head of international media relations for Rhône-Poulenc in Paris, then as a director at the Rowland Company, a London-based public affairs consultancy.[3]

She joined the UK BioIndustry Association as its first Director of Public Affairs in 1998, when the UK biotechnology industry was in its infancy.[4] The Association now represents more than three hundred UK biotech companies. In 2001 Burnand became Deputy Chief Executive, and from 2003 until December 2009 she was Chief Executive. She was succeeded by Nigel Gaymond.[5][6]

At the BIA, Burnand lobbied on behalf of stem cell research, and supported the passage of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, which gives greater protection for medical researchers from animal rights extremists and other threats.[7] She also had to reassure the public about medicines based on monoclonal antibodies when six volunteers suffered severse adverse reactions during a clinical trial at Northwick Park Hospital in 2006.[4]

In 2007 she was awarded an MBE for services to science.[7]

She joined Cancer Research UK in 2009. As Executive Director of Policy & Public Affairs, she has responsibility for the charity's policies on cancer, science and charity issues, seeking along with others to influence politicians and civil servants on issues of importance to cancer patients.[1]


  1. ^ a b Profile, Cancer Research UK; retrieved 23 December 2010.
  2. ^ Association of Medical Research Charities profile,; accessed 24 April 2016.
  3. ^ Burnand to bioindustry body public affairs role, Campaign , 18 September 1998.
  4. ^ a b Testing times for biotech champion, interview in The Scotsman, 11 February 2007.
  5. ^ BIA Annual Review 2009
  6. ^ New CEO of UK BioIndustry Association announced, NZBIO, 10 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b BioIndustry Association executive awarded MBE,, 18 June 2007