Dr. P. Roy Vagelos served as chief executive officer of Merck & Co., Inc. for nine years, from July 1985 to June 1994. He was first elected to the board of directors in 1984 and served as its chairman from April 1986 to November 1994. He was previously executive vice president of the worldwide health products company and, before that, president of its Research Division, which he joined in 1975.
Earlier, he served as chairman of the Department of Biological Chemistry of the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis and as founding director of the University’s Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (1966-75). He had previously held senior positions in cellular physiology and biochemistry at the National Heart Institute (1956-66), after internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital (1954-56).
The author of more than 100 scientific papers, Dr. Vagelos received the Enzyme Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society in 1967. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Philosophical Society. He has received honorary doctor of science degrees from Washington University, Brown University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New York University, Columbia University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Pamukkale University in Turkey, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the University of British Columbia; an honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University; and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Rutgers University. He received the Thomas Alva Edison Award from Thomas Kean, the Lawrence A. Wien Prize from Columbia University, the C. Walter Nichols Award from New York University’s Stern School of Business, the National Academy of Science Award for Chemistry in Service to Society, the Othmer Gold Medal from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and the 1999 Bower Award in Business Leadership from the Franklin Institute. His Majesty the King in Bangkok, Thailand awarded the Prince Mahidol Award to Dr. Vagelos in January 1998.
Dr. Vagelos was chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Pennsylvania from October 1994-June 1999, having served as a trustee since 1988. He also served as Co-Chairman of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center from 1989-1999 and was president and CEO of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens from 1999-2001.
Dr. Vagelos is a director of the Donald Danforth Plant Sciences Center, the National Math & Science Initiative, and The Nature Conservancy. Since 1995, he has been chairman of the Board of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Vagelos was chairman of the Review, Planning and Implementation Steering Committee of New Jersey and the Commission on Jobs Growth and Economic Development. Dr. Vagelos is chairman of the board of advisors of Columbia University Medical Center and also chairman of a $1 billion capital campaign.