Dr David Roblin joins the Francis Crick Institute as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Translation

01 July 2014

Dr David Roblin, the former Site Head and Head of Research for Pfizer's European Research & Development HQ, has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer and Director of Translation of the Francis Crick Institute. 

David Roblin, COO of the Crick

David will assume the role of COO on 1st September 2014 from the Crick's current COO, John Cooper. David will also lead translational activities for the Crick as it accelerates its science for health and wealth benefits. 

John's intention is to retire at the conclusion of the Crick project phase in 2015. Until then he will continue to be a member of the senior team as Projects Director reporting to Paul Nurse. 


David has held significant leadership roles in his pharmaceutical career, with general management, research, development and commercial responsibilities. He is regarded as a leader in translational research and during his tenure at Pfizer and Bayer he was instrumental in the successful development of several important medicines including azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, mariviroc, genotropin and sildenafil. He also chaired the Research Directors Group of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, and was a co-founder of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a two billion Euro public-private partnership in pre-competitive research with the European Commission.  Since he left Pfizer in early 2011, David has been Chief Medical Officer and a Non-Executive Director to a number of Biotechs. He also serves on the Major Awards Committee of the UK's Biomedical Catalyst Fund.

David has a first class honours degree in Biochemistry from University College London and later qualified with Honours in Medicine from St George's Hospital in London.  He practised medicine at a variety of London teaching hospitals before joining the pharmaceutical industry in 1995. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2004 and Member by Distinction of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Physicians in 2010. He is an Honorary Professor at Swansea University.

Sir Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute, said: "I am delighted to welcome David to the Crick. His expertise and research knowledge will be crucial as we work towards the opening of the institute in 2015."

Dr David Roblin said: "I am excited to be joining the Crick at such an important moment in its development. To be involved in creating Europe's largest research institute on a single site and a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation is a huge opportunity."



  • The Francis Crick Institute is a unique partnership between the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London.
  • Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse is the Director and Chief Executive of the Francis Crick Institute. 
  • Dr David Roblin has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer and Director of Translation.