Women in Science: Annie Martin

Our Global Head of Precision Medicine in Oncology discusses her day-to-day work at Novartis.

Mar 31, 2017
Global Head of Precision Medicine in Oncology at Novartis, Annie Martin
Annie Martin, Global Head of Precision Medicine in Oncology at Novartis

 As part of our “Novartis Presents: Women in Science” series, we interviewed Annie Martin, who is leading and growing one of the most exciting teams here at Novartis: precision medicine in oncology. Martin comes to work every morning knowing that she is about to collaborate with some of the best minds in the business, research new approaches in this emerging field of cancer treatment and work with her team members to make an impact on patients’ lives. She makes a difference each day and never forgets why we are here – for patients. We asked Martin to tell us more about her day-to-day job and what she looks for in prospective employees. (Also, she’s hiring!). 

Tell us more about your role and the precision medicine team.

I am the Global Head of Precision Medicine in Oncology at Novartis. In that capacity, I am responsible for the growth and success of my team – together and individually. The team is accountable for the design, implementation and execution of the precision medicine strategies that support the programs in clinical development. This starts with the discovery of biomarkers, led by the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), which can be translated into clinical studies beginning with Phase I studies run by Translational Clinical Oncology (TCO).

Once projects transition into development, my team is responsible for ensuring that each clinical study/program has an aligned precision medicine plan. If a study needs to incorporate the development of a companion diagnostic, it is the responsibility of my team to lead and execute the delivery of the companion diagnostic assay.

Who do you work with day-to-day?

Our No. 1 focus every day is the patient; they are the inspiration behind the work we do. Internally, we have the opportunity to work with a number of groups, including our colleagues in NIBR, TCO, Development, Regulatory and Commercial. We also collaborate with external stakeholders, including physicians, technology developers, regulators and payers.

Our No. 1 focus every day is the patient; they are the inspriation behind the work we do.

What sets Novartis apart as a place to work?

Our pipeline is uniquely diverse and includes targeted and immuno-oncology compounds. This gives us a tremendous opportunity to take our learnings from all of our trials and apply knowledge that cuts across all aspects of cancer biology.

What qualities do you look for in prospective employees?

Passion, curiosity, courage to do something new, leadership, collaboration and an expertise in their specialty area.

What does precision medicine mean to patients?

Precision medicine is the customization of medicines for patients such that, if a patient’s tumor has a specific biomarker(s) that is associated with the efficacy of a drug, and if the biomarker(s) can be measured through accurate and validated assays, there is a strong likelihood that the patient will derive benefit from the medicine(s).

“Novartis Presents: Women in Science” is an ongoing series showcasing women at Novartis who are helping develop innovative oncology medicines for people with cancer and related diseases. 

Meet Annie Martin, Global Head of Precision Medicine at Novartis, and one of our “Women in Science.” #WomenInScience

Responses have been edited for length.