John Daly Lecture Award for Heptares’ co-founder

Heptares’ co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Fiona Marshall, receives 2017 John Daly Lecture Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to GPCR drug discovery

Photograph: Chris Brock/2012 WISE Awards

Heptares Therapeutics co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Fiona Marshall, has received the 2017 John Daly Lecture Award for her outstanding contribution to GPCR drug discovery.

The company, part of Sosei, specialises in GPCR medicine design and development.

Marshall was invited to give the 9th Annual John Daly Memorial Lecture, which took place yesterday at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

During the lecture, Marshall described how the unique GPCR stabilisation technologies developed at Heptares have generated valuable insights to GPCR structure and function, and are yielding novel molecules for development as drugs in many disease areas.

Winner of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship award, Marshall is inventor of seven patents and author of more than 50 scientific papers. She has helped develop drugs to combat asthma, schizophrenia, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease. In 2012, she made The Guardian newspaper's list of Women of Outstanding Achievement.

Malcolm Weir, Chief Executive Officer of Heptares and Chief R&D Officer at Sosei, said: “Since co-founding Heptares in 2007, Fiona has led a team that has made many breakthroughs in GPCR structure elucidation that are now being applied to develop new medicines for many diseases.”

“Fiona’s nomination to give the John Daly Memorial Lecture is an timely recognition of all that she has achieved so far.”

The award

The award is bestowed annually by the NIH in memory of John Daly, a former NIH scientist and pioneer in pharmacological research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Daly introduced many essential tools for pharmacological research and made a significant contribution to the field of GPCRs. After his death in 2008, the NIDDK Intramural Research Program instituted an annual lecture, held in his memory.

Previous John Daly Lecturers include Brian Kobilka of Stanford University and Robert J. Lefkowitz of Duke University, who jointly won the Nobel Prize in 2012 for Chemistry in recognition of their pioneering research studying GPCRs at the molecular and structural level.

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