George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron, will address the graduates of the Class of 2019. Over the last 30 years, Dr. Yancopoulos has worked to build Regeneron into a leading science-driven biotech company that invented and developed seven FDA-approved medicines for serious diseases including cancer, vision-threatening eye diseases, heart disease, atopic dermatitis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Yancopoulos is a unique biotech leader who, along with key members of his team, co-invented Regeneron's foundational technologies for target and drug discovery, as well as its breakthrough medical treatments. His team continues to lead in biotech innovation, including the Regeneron Genetics Center, a world-leading effort that has already sequenced the exomes of over 500,000 people. Regeneron routinely appears on Forbes’ list of the Most Innovative Companies in the world.
He graduated valedictorian from both the Bronx High School of Science (where he was a Westinghouse Science Talent Search winner) and Columbia University where he received his M.D. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular. Dr. Yancopoulos did seminal work as the first graduate student of the renowned molecular immunologist, Fred Alt, Ph.D. He was pursuing a career in academia when he met and joined his Regeneron co-founder Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Yancopoulos has authored more than 300 papers, holds more than 100 patents and was among the ten most highly cited scientific authors in the world during the 1990s. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004, was inducted into the Biotech Hall of Fame in 2014 and was named Ernst &Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016, along with Dr. Schleifer. He is passionate about inspiring young talent to pursue scientific careers through numerous STEM and internship programs. Under his leadership, Regeneron has taken on sponsorship of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious high school science competition, formerly sponsored by Westinghouse and Intel, and now known as the Regeneron Science Talent Search.