CME Award for Dr. Roy Vagelos

NEW YORK – the Chemical Marketing and Economics (CME) group of the American Chemical Society’s New York Section, Inc., announced on Aug. 11 that P. Roy Vagelos, MD, Chairman of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., will receive CME’s Leadership Award™ for Lifetime Achievement at the Yale Club Ballroom in New York City on December 8, 2015.

Dr. Vagelos has an unmatched record in building both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies into top world-class enterprises that effectively translate science into medicine. Under his leadership Merck was elected Fortune’s Most Admired Corporation seven years in a row, an extraordinary achievement.

“It is remarkable to have an active career over six decades but it is truly exceptional to head the legendary Merck & Co., Inc. for a decade, taking it to new heights, retire, and subsequently spend two decades developing Regeneron into the fifth largest biotech company in the USA,” Mr. George Rodriguez, Chair of CME and Board member of the ACS NY Section noted. “Further, his passion and support for STEM education are truly exemplary.

Roy Vagelos 1


“My career began when I majored in chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.  Then my knowledge of chemistry permitted me to work in medicine, biochemistry and drug discovery, and ultimately to lead a giant research-based pharmaceutical company, Merck.  After retirement, I agreed to chair the board of Regeneron because of the superb quality of its science.  It was bound to succeed,” Dr. Vagelos said. “I wholeheartedly support the American Chemical Society, and in particular the CME group, for their initiatives to expand STEM student programs and to provide a venue for the industries of chemistry to learn the many paths to progress and growth.

Vagelos is the retired Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.  He received an AB in 1950 from the University of Pennsylvania and an MD in 1954 from Columbia University.  After working at Massachusetts General Hospital, the National Institutes of Health and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, he joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1975. In 1985, he became CEO and subsequently Chairman of the company until retirement in 1994.

Since becoming Chairman of the biotech company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in 1995, he continues in that role while also serving as Chairman of the Board of Advisors at Columbia University Medical Center.  Dr. Vagelos is a member of a number of public policy and advisory boards, including the National Math & Science Initiative and The Nature Conservancy.

The author of more than 100 scientific papers, Dr. Vagelos is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He has received many awards in science and business as well as 14 honorary doctorates.  In the past, he was Chairman of the Board of the University of Pennsylvania and served on many boards including TRW and McDonnell Douglas.

The CME Leadership Awards honor leaders with distinction in harnessing the transformative power of chemistry to advance humanity. Prior honorees include Andrew Liveris (Dow Chemical), Jon M. Huntsman (Huntsman Corp.), Juan Pablo del Valle (Mexichem) and other leaders.




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