Ruth March, PhD, FRSB, FMedSci, Senior Vice President of AstraZeneca’s Precision Medicine function, accountable for developing diagnostic tests linked to AstraZeneca’s drug projects and for end-to-end delivery of biosamples, leading more than 180 diagnostics and biosamples experts globally.
Dr March has transformed AstraZeneca into an industry leader in precision medicine, with 4 launched drugs (Iressa, Tagrisso, Lynparza, Imfinzi) linked to companion diagnostics, 550 scientific papers and more than 90% of AstraZeneca’s clinical pipeline following a precision medicine approach.
Partnering with diagnostic companies, she has delivered 35 approved diagnostic tests in 4 major markets. These include 11 industry firsts such as development of the world’s first use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) approved to guide therapy, decreasing clinical risks associated with solid tumour biopsy.
Dr March is known as an expert in precision medicine, with over 90 publications including scientific papers in high impact journals such as the NEJM, NRDD and PNAS. Drawing on her research background in population genomics, she initiated and now provides scientific input to AstraZeneca’s ambitious genomics initiative, which is analysing up to 2 million human genomes using novel machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques. The first novel gene targets from this initiative are now progressing into drug discovery.
A Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Biology, she is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, serves on 7 boards and advisory bodies and provides insight to global health authorities and government initiatives.