Fiona H. Marshall, Ph.D.

President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) since November 1, 2022

Member of the Executive Committee

Fiona Marshall is President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), the company’s innovation engine, where she leads roughly 5,600 scientists and other associates across six research sites dedicated to the discovery of high-value medicines for patients.

Fiona collaborates with experts across the pipeline—from R&D to manufacturing and commercial development—to ensure NIBR’s technological and scientific breakthroughs translate into therapies that address the world’s greatest disease burdens.

NIBR has historically been an early adopter of technological platforms and therapeutic approaches with massive potential. I look forward to seeing how NIBR, with our Novartis colleagues and partners across the scientific ecosystem, can further leverage these advances to develop breakthrough medicines that address critical areas of unmet need for patients.

Prior to taking up her current role in November 2022, Fiona served as senior vice president and global head of discovery sciences, preclinical development and translational medicine at MSD (Merck & Co in the US). Prior to that, she was a founder and chief scientific officer of Heptares Therapeutics, a UK-based biotechnology company focused on structure-based drug design. Earlier in her career, Fiona was director of molecular pharmacology at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and spent 10 years at GSK, holding senior positions in molecular pharmacology and neuroscience.

Fiona holds a BSc in Biochemistry from University of Bath and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, both in the UK. She was the recipient of the 2012 WISE Women of Outstanding Achievement for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award, the 2015 RSC Malcolm Campbell Award for Chemistry, and the Vane Medal from the British Pharmacological Society. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences, and an honorary fellow of both the British Pharmacological Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

A frequent traveler, Fiona’s preferred destinations include national parks and wildlife conservation sites. She also enjoys spending time with her family in her native England.

Nationality: British | Year of birth: 1964

Professional experience

  • Senior vice president, head of discovery, preclinical and translational medicine, Merck & Co., US, (2021–September 2022)
  • Vice president, global head of neuroscience, Merck & Co., US (2019–2021)
  • Vice president, head of UK discovery research, Merck & Co., UK (2018–2019)
  • Executive vice president and chief scientific officer, Sosei Heptares, UK (2015–2018)
  • Chief scientific officer and founder, Heptares Therapeutics, UK (2006–2018)


  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, SciLifeLab, Sweden
  • Fellow, Royal Society, UK
  • Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK
  • Honorary Fellow, British Pharmacological Society, UK
  • Fellow, UK Academy of Medical Sciences, UK
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Biology, UK


  • PhD in Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK
  • BSc in Biochemistry, University of Bath, UK

Information is accurate as of February 1, 2023