"My first career was in nursing, and I was a ward sister in a secure Mental Health Unit in Glasgow, my home city. Following a move “down South” initially to Sheffield, I have been working in the voluntary sector since 1990. Many of those years were spent developing a fundraising career, and I spent 15 years with a major cancer charity, latterly as Director of Fundraising.
"I joined Kidney Research UK as CEO in September 2012 and enjoy the challenges of working in a charity that needs to increase it’s influence and significantly increase income to enable us to do more research. I have been so impressed with the renal community, clinical staff, researchers, patients, our staff at the charity, the many professionals involved in renal care, and the families who care for patients, as we all work to improve the prospects for kidney patients.
"When I am not at work I dabble a bit with my garden, although it is way too big for a non-gardener. I have recently taken up dancing to try to notch up a few more hours of exercise each week, and I have developed an interest recently in classic cars, not sure where that came from. I am mum to Andrew, David, Laurence and Eve who keep me constantly in touch with the latest music, trends and technology! Or they try to."
Dr Aisling McMahon
Executive director: research, innovation and policy
"I am the Executive director of research, innovation and policy at Kidney Research UK. After undertaking a PhD focusing on uraemic cardiomyopathy in the Department of Nephrology, Queen Mary College, University of London, I took up a cardiovascular research fellowship at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney. There I set up the infrastructure for the isolation and study of single cardiac myocytes and developed a number of models of cardiovascular disease. From there I was appointed as senior research scientist/senior research fellow at the ANZAC Research Institute, University of Sydney. My research experience spans a number of areas including diabetes, hypertension, ageing and nutrition, as well as renal.
"I returned to the UK in 2014 for family reasons, and after a year in the Cardiovascular Sciences Department at Leicester University, moved into the charity sector. I have a strong interest in research ethics and in ensuring that research outputs are translated into patient benefit as rapidly and efficiently as possible."
Executive director: finance and operations
"I have always enjoyed volunteering for charities but joined the charity sector professionally as Finance director of Kidney Research UK in 2006.
"Previously I qualified as an accountant with PwC and after a move to Cambridge from Northern Ireland, I worked for a couple of fast moving software companies based in Cambridge and the USA.
"I’m still at Kidney Research UK after all this time because I’m passionate about increasing the quality of life of patients, and at this charity I meet and work with some extraordinary people including patients, volunteers, researchers and fellow staff members.
"Outside of work I sing in a mid-life crisis band and struggle to reduce my high handicap in golf. I also enjoy yoga and tennis. Our two grown-up daughters keep my husband and me entertained and I’m proud they’re involved in volunteering and fundraising for various charities."
Executive director: communications and income generation
"I have worked in the charity sector for 18 years following a career in the retail sector which included working for regional and international retailers. I moved in to the not-for-profit sector initially as a volunteer, although was quickly appointed as Director of Operations and finally Chief Executive of Leukaemia CARE. Since then, I have worked with a wide range of charities including Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, Colchester NHS Foundation Trust, Hospice UK and numerous local hospices.
"My role at Kidney Research UK is to lead the communications, fundraising, retail and supporter care teams to help raise the vital funds and awareness and engage with all our supporters and stakeholders so we are able to galvanise support to increase the amount of research we fund as we work towards freeing lives from kidney disease.
"Outside of work my time is occupied with two daughters so I’m often the taxi driver, hotel manager or personal shopping assistant (Bank of Dad). I also enjoy live music and following the ups and downs of West Ham United."