George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD
Dr. Yancopoulos graduated as valedictorian of both the Bronx High School of Science and Columbia College, and earned his advanced degrees at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Following widely-recognized work in the field of molecular immunology at Columbia with Dr. Fred Alt, Dr. Yancopoulos left academia in 1989 as founding scientist for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where he continues to serve as President of the Laboratories and Chief Scientific Officer. He is also adjunct full professor at Columbia University and was awarded Columbia’s Stevens Triennial prize for Research and the University Medal of Excellence for Distinguished Achievement.
Dr. Yancopoulos is widely regarded as a world leader in several fields of biology and has authored more than 350 scientific manuscripts. According to a study by the Institute for Scientific Information, Dr. Yancopoulos was the eleventh most highly cited scientist in the world during the 1990′s. In 2004, he was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Yancopoulos’ scientific efforts have focused on the discovery of growth factors (such as the neurotrophins, ephrins and angiopoietins), their receptors and their signaling pathways, as well as on developing new platforms for target and drug discovery such as Trap Technology, VelociGene and VelocImmune. His research has led to unifying models of molecular and biologic function, as well as new approaches to treating disease. Dr. Yancopoulos and his team have progressed numerous drug candidates to human trials, including the IL1-Trap (ARCALYST®) which has recently been approved for treatment of an orphan inflammatory disease, the VEGF Trap-Eye (EYLEA®) which has recently been approved for age-related macular degeneration (the most common cause of blindness in the elderly), the VEGF Trap-Onc (ZALTRAP®) for cancer, and several fully human monoclonal antibodies derived using VelocImmune technology for various indications including cholesterol-lowering and inflammatory diseases.