Drug development expert to speak at medical school graduation

The former president of Merck Research Laboratories will speak at the medical school diploma ceremony, which is scheduled for June 11.

Peter Kim

Faculty member Peter Kim, PhD, a biochemist known for his innovative work in developing and shepherding drugs to market, will be this year’s speaker at the School of Medicine’s diploma ceremony.

The ceremony will be held from 1-3 p.m. June 11 on Alumni Green, next to the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge. No tickets are required.

Kim, who earned a PhD in biochemistry at Stanford in 1985, returned to the university in 2014 as a professor of biochemistry. He is also the Virginia & D.K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry and a member of ChEM-H, an interdisciplinary institute focused on the chemistry of human health. His research at Stanford includes efforts to create an HIV vaccine.

As the president of Merck Research Laboratories for 10 years, he led teams of chemists, biologists, engineers, statisticians and clinicians. Among the many products launched under his watch was a vaccine targeting human papilloma virus, the causative agent of cervical cancer, as well as drugs with novel mechanisms of action to treat Type 2 diabetes, HIV and the hepatitis C virus. Kim also oversaw the development of vaccines against rotavirus and shingles.

The co-author of more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles, Kim holds 17 patents and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering. He is one of only 20 people to have membership in all three national academies.

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