Sep 01, 2022
  • 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

Basel, September 1, 2022 — 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 press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “potential,” “can,” “appoints,” “will,” “next chapter,” “to shape,” “next era,” “confident,” “wish,” “pipeline,” “advance,” “future waves,” “look forward,” “to accelerate,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding the potential impact of Dr. Bradner's departure and of Dr. Marshall's experience, credentials, and future leadership on Novartis. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that Dr. Bradner's departure and Dr. Marshall's appointment will have any particular impact on NIBR or Novartis, or that NIBR or Novartis will be successful in the future. In particular, our expectations could be affected by, among other things: the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including unexpected research or clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political, economic and business conditions, including the effects of and efforts to mitigate pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at

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