Marc received undergraduate degrees from McGill University and from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. from University College London (UCL). After postdoctoral work at UCL and at Columbia University, he established his laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He later moved to Stanford, where he was the Susan B. Ford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and then to Genentech Inc., where he served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research, as well as running his laboratory. He joined The Rockefeller University in 2011 as President and Carson Family Professor, and as Head of the Laboratory of Brain Development and Repair.
In 2016, Marc became Stanford University's 11th president. He also maintains research activities as Head of Laboratory and Bing Presidential Professor in the Department of Biology.