Winner of the 2012 Women of Outstanding Achievement Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
30 November 2012
Celebrating women who are creating significant change, making discoveries, innovating processes, establishing new ventures and helping the UK excel in science, engineering and technology.
Fiona set up her own drug discovery company with Malcolm Weir in 2006 to develop new medicines for diseases of the brain and metabolism. She leads a team of 60 scientists, has invented 7 patents, has authored over 50 scientific papers and Heptares has become one of the UK’s brightest start-ups, raising over $40m in venture capital.
My proudest moment - Seeing Heptares grow from just two of us in a portacabin to a world leading biotech company. It has been wonderful to give so many talented young scientists a rewarding job. We have made some great discoveries which I get to talk about around the world and most importantly we hope to have discovered some breakthrough medicines for serious neurological diseases.
My advice to girls - Do something important with your life. A career in science gives you the chance to discover something new that no-one else knows about. Be someone who makes a difference and changes how people live for the better. You might discover a new medicine, learn to predict earthquakes, design the perfect robotic limb or find a new planet or subatomic particle.
My advice to the UK - We need to start in schools and get more girls to study physical sciences and maths. How our world works is truly amazing and we need to make science lessons exciting, interesting and relevant to kids today.