The chief executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities has resigned from her role because of illness.
The membership body said Aisling Burnand had decided to step down after seven years following a period of extended sick leave and would leave her post when this ended in September.
Hilary Reynolds has been acting as chief executive during Burnand’s absence and will stay in place until a permanent successor is appointed.
The body said Burnand intended to return for one day a week to support Reynolds during a transition period.
Burnand said: “I plan to return in September as a senior adviser until year end to support the chair and interim chief executive and ensure a strong succession process to find a new leader.
“My decision to depart has been a hard one, but one that will build on the strong foundations we have and our fabulous high-performing team. I could not be more proud of our achievements.”
Reynolds said Burnand had been a fantastic champion of the work of medical research charities and helped establish the sector as an influential voice at the top table.
Reynolds said: “We’re so grateful for all she has done to drive change in the charity and research space. She has worked tirelessly to address the needs of patients with a strong focus on collaboration to get results faster.
“Aisling will be much missed, but will leave us as a strong, influential and confident membership organisation. We wish her the very best for the future.”