Fiona Marston OBE has joined Northern Gritstone as an independent member of its investment committee.

She brings decades of experience as a biotechnology entrepreneur and expertise in building and scaling life sciences companies.

With a background in supporting startups and scaleups, Marston is Royal Society’s Entrepreneur in Residence at Reading University, spearheading the commercial translation of research and the development of entrepreneurial skills and mentoring among research staff and students. 

She previously held the same role at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, as Director of the Centre for Excellence in Infectious Diseases Research.

Having started her career in biotech, she founded the investment incubator Healthcare Ventures for Rothschild Bioscience Unit and J&J Development Corporation. She subsequently led Novacta Biosystems and Absynth Biologics in advancing anti-infective products to treat and prevent infections caused by S. aureus and C. difficile.

Alongside her other roles, Marston is non-executive chair and CEO of synthetic biology company Erebagen Limited, non-executive director at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and an advisor to seed fund UKI2S, a £40m early-stage venture capital fund backed by UK Research and Innovation.

She holds a PhD in biochemistry, an MBA from London Business School and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours.  

Northern Gritstone’s investment committee reports directly to the company’s board as part of its corporate governance structures. It has delegated authority for making investment decisions.  To date, Northern Gritstone has made 10 investments to date in science and technology firms in the North of England, including last month in Leeds-based chip designer Optalysys.

Duncan Johnson, Northern Gritstone CEO, said: “Fiona has unparalleled experience working with scaling businesses in biotech and life sciences. We are delighted that she is joining Northern Gritstone’s Investment Committee as an independent member and she will play a vital role in shaping our approach as we look to back the most exciting businesses across the North of England.”

Fiona Marston OBE said: “Northern Gritstone’s commitment to the philosophy of ‘profit with purpose’ closely reflects my experience and focus, so I’m very pleased to be joining its Investment Committee.

“Building on its historic research strengths, the North of England has incredibly exciting prospects in biotech and life sciences. Northern Gritstone is perfectly positioned to back high-growth companies and support them on their path to scale.  I am looking forward to working with Duncan and the team.”