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Novartis (NOVN.S) said on Thursday it appointed Merck executive Fiona Marshall as president of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research to replace Jay Bradner, who is stepping down after seven years as research head at the Swiss drugmaker.

The drugmaker said the appointment of Marshall, currently senior vice president and global head of discovery sciences, preclinical development and translational medicine at Merck & Co (MRK.N), takes effect on Nov. 1.

“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,” Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said.

He cited Marshall’s three decades of experience leading drug discovery and early development across large biopharma, biotech and academia.

Before joining Merck in 2018, Marshall was a founder and chief scientific officer of Heptares Therapeutics, a British biotech company that was acquired by Japanese firm Sosei, where she continued as chief scientific officer.

Marshall was earlier director of molecular pharmacology at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and spent 10 years at GSK, holding senior positions in molecular pharmacology and neuroscience, Novartis added.