George Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D.
Science Talent Search 1976
Yancopoulos is Regeneron’s Founding Scientist, President and Chief Scientific Officer. Over the last 30 years, he has worked with his long-time partner, Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, to build Regeneron into a leading science-driven biotech company which has invented (in-house, in its own laboratories) and developed seven FDA-approved medicines for serious diseases including cancer, vision-threatening eye diseases, heart disease, atopic dermatitis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Yancopoulos is a unique biotech leader who has actually co-invented Regeneron’s foundational technologies for target and drug discovery (such as the TRAP®, VelociGene® and VelocImmune® platforms), as well as its breakthrough medical treatments (including EYLEA, Praluent and Dupixent). His team continues to lead biotech innovation, such as through the Regeneron Genetics Center, a world-leading effort that has already sequenced over 500,000 people. Regeneron routinely appears on Forbes’ list of the most innovative companies in the world.
After graduating as valedictorian of both the Bronx High School of Science (where he also was a Westinghouse Science Talent Search winner) and at Columbia University, Yancopoulos received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University, where he did seminal work as the first graduate student of legendary molecular immunologist, Dr. Fred Alt. George was pursuing a career in academia when he met and joined his Regeneron co-founder, Dr. Schleifer.
Yancopoulos has authored more than 300 papers, holds over 100 patents, and was among the ten most highly cited scientific authors in the world during the 1990’s, and the only one in industry on the list. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004, was inducted into the Biotech Hall of Fame in 2014, was named Ernst &Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016 (along with Dr. Schleifer), and has received numerous other awards and honors.
Yancopoulos wants to bring his success in the sciences full circle and is deeply committed to inspiring excitement about scientific careers through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education programs. George plays an active role in Regeneron’s STEM commitments and lends his name to the George D. Yancopoulos Young Scientist Award given at the Westchester Science & Engineering Fair for student researchers whose passion for science may lead to development of novel technologies or biological insights. Under his leadership, Regeneron has taken on sponsorship of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious high school science competition, formerly sponsored by Westinghouse (back when he was a winner) and Intel, and now known as the Regeneron Science Talent Search.
Yancopoulos is an alumnus of the 1976 Science Talent Search.