Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, has been named president of Merck & Co Inc's vaccine division, effective Jan. 25, 2010.
Gerberding served as CDC director from 2002 to 2009. During her tenure at CDC, Gerberding led the agency during more than 40 emergency response initiatives for health crises including anthrax bioterrorism, foodborne disease outbreaks and natural disasters, and advised governments around the world on urgent public health issues such as SARS, AIDS and obesity.
“Vaccines are a cornerstone of Merck's commitment to health and wellness," said Richard T. Clark, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck & Co., Inc. "We are delighted to welcome an expert of Dr. Gerberding's caliber to Merck. As a preeminent authority in public health, infectious diseases and vaccines, Dr. Gerberding is the ideal choice to lead Merck's engagement with organizations around the world that share our commitment to the use of vaccines to prevent disease and save lives."
"I’ve had the privilege in my previous work in academia and in the federal government to be a passionate advocate for public health priorities such as vaccines, which are an imperative component of global health development," said Gerberding. "I am very excited to be joining Merck where I can help to expand access to vaccines around the world."
Gerberding will lead the company's $5 billion global vaccine business. Merck currently markets a broad range of pediatric, adolescent and adult vaccines and is a leading provider of vaccines in countries around the world; in the U.S., Merck markets vaccines for 12 of the 17 diseases for which the U.S. Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices currently recommends vaccines. She will be responsible for the commercialization of the current portfolio of vaccines, planning for the introduction of vaccines from the company's robust vaccine pipeline, and accelerating Merck's on-going efforts to broaden access to its vaccines in the developing world. Gerberding will also collaborate with leaders of Merck Manufacturing Division and Merck Research Laboratories to manage the critical linkages between basic research, late-stage development and manufacturing to expand Merck's vaccine offerings throughout the world.
She received her undergraduate degree and her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University. Her internship, residency, and clinical pharmacology training were all at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she worked in a range of clinical, research and teaching roles prior to joining the CDC in 1998. Gerberding received her master’s of public health degree at the University of California, Berkeley.
She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Physicians, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. She is also a clinical professor of infectious diseases at Emory University and an adjunct associate professor of medicine in infectious diseases at UCSF.
Gerberding has received more than 50 awards and honors, including the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in responses to anthrax bioterrorism and the September 11, 2001 attacks. She was named to Forbes magazine's 100 Most Powerful Women in the world in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and was named to TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004.