By Stella Paffenholz
BBI is excited to announce that Dr. George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Regeneron, will give the keynote speech at this year’s kick-off event on September 13. Almost 30 years ago, Dr. Yancopoulos together with Dr. Len Schleifer, MD, PhD, launched Regeneron, one of the world’s most innovate biotech companies.
Dr. Yancopoulos was always fascinated and driven by science. After attending the Bronx High School of Science, he received his MD and PhD degrees from Columbia University as a graduate student of Dr. Fred Alt, PhD, a leading figure in molecular immunology. He studied the basic genetic mechanisms how immune genes are rearranged during development. Amongst many other innovative discoveries, Dr. Yancopoulos was the first researcher to introduce human immune genes into mouse cells and show that they can be successfully rearranged. These early studies laid the foundation for the development of Regeneron’s powerful technology VelocImmune®. VelocImmune mice carry a genetically humanized immune system that enables the development of fully human monoclonal antibodies. More than a dozen antibodies developed with this system have been put into the clinic to treat various diseases, including allergic asthma, arthritis, and cancer. Other innovations spearheaded by Dr. Yancopoulos include the Trap technology and VelociGene®, a rapid and high-throughput method to genetically manipulate the mouse genome, which was exploited to generate the VelocImmune mouse.
Dr. Yancopoulos has received various honors and awards. In addition to being a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 11th most highly cited scientist in the world during the 1990s. Moreover, he is the first R&D chief in the pharmaceutical industry to become a billionaire.
We are looking forward to host Dr. Yancopoulos at our kick-off event to learn about his career as an innovator and experiences in the biotech industry. The event marks the beginning of BBI’s 12-week seminar series. Class participants form teams and write business plans around patented technologies invented at Cornell University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University. At the end of the series the best teams will compete for prizes in BBI’s Annual Pitch Day Competition.
To register for the kick-off event click here.
To register for the full 12 week seminar series click here.
To look for teammates click here.