MSD Announces Election of Dr Fiona H. Marshall as Fellow of The Royal Society

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May 6, 2021 9:35 pm +00:00

News Release


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Laura Newby

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MSD Announces Election of Dr Fiona H. Marshall as Fellow of The Royal Society

London, May 06, 2021 – MSD (tradename of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (NYSE: MRK)) announced today that Dr Fiona H. Marshall, Senior Vice President and Head of Discovery Sciences and Translational Medicine at MSD, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.

Fiona is a world-renowned scientist, entrepreneur, and expert in G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR) biology, an area of innovation in which recent developments in structural biology have provided new opportunities in the design of therapeutic candidates targeting a number of important disease areas.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of The Royal Society, commented:

“This is the first year of my presidency at the Royal Society and I’ve been very much looking forward to welcoming the newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members.

The global pandemic has demonstrated the continuing importance of scientific thinking and collaboration across borders. Each Fellow and Foreign Member bring their area of scientific expertise to the Royal Society and when combined, this expertise supports the use of science for the benefit of humanity. Our new Fellows and Foreign Members are all at the forefronts of their fields from molecular genetics and cancer research to tropical open ecosystems and radar technology. It is an absolute pleasure and honour to have them join us.”

In her current role as Senior Vice President and Head of Discovery Sciences and Translational Medicine at MSD, Fiona provides scientific and strategic leadership to the company at a global level. In addition she is actively engaged in the establishment of MSD’s new Discovery Centre and HQ in the Knowledge Quarter, London, with a scientific focus on the biological mechanisms of diseases of ageing.

Dr Fiona Marshall commented:

“I’m delighted and honoured to be recognized by The Royal Society – I thank them for the recognition and reflect upon the positive signals that we are giving to female scientific leaders and those pursuing scientific excellence across academia and industry alike.”

Fiona won the 2012 WISE award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the 2015 Royal Society of Chemistry Malcolm Campbell Award and the 2018 Vane Medal from the British Pharmacological Society. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Honorary Fellow of both the British Pharmacological Society the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In a career, spanning more than 25 years, Fiona has led research teams that have made important scientific contributions to drug discovery spanning multiple disease areas including oncology, neuroscience, inflammation and metabolic disease. She joined MSD in 2018 as head of the new Discovery Research Center in London. In 2019, she was appointed head of neuroscience discovery and then in 2021 Head of Discovery and Translational Medicine. Prior to joining MSD she was co-founder and chief scientific officer of the biotechnology company Heptares (now Sosei-Heptares) a successful U.K. biotechnology company focused on structure-guided drug design of small molecules, peptides and antibody therapeutics to G protein-coupled receptors. Prior to founding Heptares, she held senior positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda), and GSK. Fiona holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Bath and a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Cambridge.

Each year, the Fellows of the Royal Society elect up to 52 new Fellows and up to 10 new Foreign Members. Fellows are elected for having made ‘a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science’. Each candidate is considered on his or her own merits and can be proposed from any sector of the scientific community.

About MSD

For more than 130 years, MSD has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. MSD is a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, MSD continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit and connect with us @MSDintheUK on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (