About the Speakers

P. Roy Vagelos

P. Roy Vagelos

P. Roy Vagelos

P. Roy Vagelos is the former CEO of Merck and Co. Trained as a medical doctor, Vagelos spent a decade working for the National Institutes of Health, first as senior surgeon and later as section head of Comparative Biochemistry. He then became chairman of the Department of Biological Chemistry at Washington University’s School of Medicine. Vagelos also founded and directed the university’s Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, which fused a medical school with an undergraduate department of biology for the first time.

In 1975 Vagelos joined Merck as senior vice president for research. He was named CEO in 1984. Vagelos revitalized R&D at Merck and led the company to be deemed “most admired” corporation by Fortune 500 leaders for seven consecutive years.

The author of more than 100 scientific papers, Vagelos is also an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. His many awards include the American Chemical Society’s Enzyme Chemistry Award, the National Academy of Science's Chemistry in Service to Society Award, the University of Pennsylvania’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Franklin Institute’s Bower Award for Business Leadership.

Vagelos chairs the Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons Development Campaign and the board of directors of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. He is co-chairman of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, a trustee of The Danforth Foundation, and a director of PepsiCo, the Prudential Insurance Company of America, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Estee Lauder Companies. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.D. from the Columbia University School of Medicine. 

Jeffrey Sturchio

Jeffrey L. Sturchio is president and CEO of the Global Health Council. Previously he served as vice president of corporate responsibility at Merck and Co., president of the Merck Company Foundation, and chairman of the U.S. Corporate Council on Africa.

Sturchio is currently a visiting scholar at the Institute for Applied Economics and the Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Healthy Next Generation of the World Economic Forum. He received an A.B. in history from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Arnold Thackray

Arnold Thackray founded CHF and served the organization as president for 25 years. He is currently CHF’s chancellor. Thackray received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history of science from Cambridge University. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Oxford University, and Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In 1983 Thackray received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. He served for more than a quarter century on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the founding chairman of the Department of History and Sociology of Science and is currently the Joseph Priestley Professor Emeritus.

Hear It Firsthand

CHF’s Center for Oral History captures and preserves the stories of notable figures in chemistry and related fields. Many of the oral histories in the collection belong to winners of CHF’s awards, including

  • Arnold Beckman, winner of the Othmer Gold Medal (2000)
  • Robert Allington, winner of the Pittcon Heritage Award (2005)
  • Carl Djerassi, winner of the Othmer Gold Medal (2000), the AIC Gold Medal (2004), and the Ullyot Public Affairs Lecturer (1995)
  • Gordon Cain, winner of the Petrochemical Heritage Award (1997)

Listen to their extraordinary stories today!

 

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