Novartis appoints new president of its biomedical research institutes

01 Sep 2022 | Network Updates | Update from Novartis
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

  • After seven years as President of NIBR and a member of the ECN, Dr. Bradner will pursue a next chapter of scientific contribution and leadership outside of Novartis
  • Building on NIBR foundation, Dr. Marshall to shape next era of biomedical innovation and continue Novartis leadership in R&D

Novartis today announced that James (Jay) E. Bradner, M.D., will step down from the Executive Committee of Novartis (ECN), effective October 31st after seven years leading research at Novartis. Fiona H. Marshall, Ph.D., currently Senior Vice President and Global Head of Discovery Sciences, Preclinical Development and Translational Medicine at MSD (Merck & Co., Inc in USA), has been appointed as President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), effective November 1st, 2022 reporting to Vas Narasimhan, M.D., CEO of Novartis. Dr. Marshall will become a member of the ECN.

“Leading NIBR has been a privilege for which I will forever be grateful,” Jay Bradner said. “I am so proud of the medicines we have imagined together, and I am confident that Fiona and our leaders will continue the creative, productive and important research to the definitive benefit of those with life-threatening diseases.”

Vas Narasimhan said: “I am deeply grateful to Jay for his invaluable contributions to reimagining how we discover innovative medicines, recruiting world-class scientific leaders and expanding our collaborations with leading biotech companies and academic institutions. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors and am grateful Jay has agreed to assist with the transition.”

“I am delighted to welcome Fiona to Novartis. She is both an esteemed biomedical scientist and an accomplished biopharmaceuticals research leader. Her three decades of experience leading drug discovery and early development across large biopharma, biotech and academia and her deep passion for biomedical science make her the ideal leader to help us strengthen our innovation pipeline and advance future waves of high-value medicines.”

Fiona Marshall said: “I am very excited to join Novartis and lead the discovery teams who are renowned for their collaborative research and use of cutting-edge technologies. I look forward to working with them, colleagues across Novartis and our partners across the biopharma ecosystem to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into breakthrough medicines that address critical areas of unmet need for patients.”  

Prior to joining Merck in 2018, Dr. Marshall was a Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Heptares Therapeutics, a successful UK Biotech company focused on structure-based drug design that was subsequently acquired by the Japanese biotech company Sosei, where she continued to serve as Chief Scientific Officer.  Earlier in her career, Dr. Marshall was Director of Molecular Pharmacology at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and spent 10 years at GSK, holding senior positions in Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience. She holds a BSc in Biochemistry from University of Bath (UK) and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of Cambridge (UK).  Dr. Marshall is the recipient of the 2012 WISE Women of Outstanding Achievement for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award, and the 2015 RSC Malcolm Campbell Award for chemistry and the Vane Medal from the British Pharmacological Society. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences, Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This article was first published on 1 September by Novartis. 

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