Novartis research arm picks Steele as new head of global comms

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) has named Fintan Steele VP and global head of communications. The former scientist and journalist will lead communications for all institutes, and will be based in Cambridge, MA, where NIBR headquarters is still in the process of being built. He will report directly to NIBR's CEO Mark Fishman.

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) has named Fintan Steele VP and global head of communications. The former scientist and journalist will lead communications for all institutes, and will be based in Cambridge, MA, where NIBR headquarters is still in the process of being built. He will report directly to NIBR's CEO Mark Fishman.

Steele explained that he plans to employ different communications tactics than those traditionally used by drug companies. "We are looking at new ways to communicate about research," he said. "Our focus is on communicating the science that actually makes the drugs, without being distracted by pricing or marketing to consumers."

He cited internal employees at Novartis, the scientific and biotechnology communities, and other science-focused groups as the three target audiences for NIBR's communications efforts.

Steele's team of six includes Jeff Lockwood, director of external and government communications, and Sandra Ziegler, director of internal communications. He plans to grow the department in Cambridge, and is also responsible for building communications teams at NIBR locations in Basel, Switzerland; Horsham, England; Vienna; and Tsukuba, Japan.

Prior to joining the institute, Steele was editorial director for Eaton Publishing. He has also been an editor for Molecular Therapy, Genomics, and The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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