George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., joined Regeneron in 1989 as its Scientific Founder and is currently the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. After graduating as valedictorian at Bronx High and at Columbia University, Dr. Yancopoulos received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University. Later at Columbia, he served as legendary geneticist Dr. Fred Alt's first post-doctorate student, working in molecular immunology.
When Dr. Yancopoulos joined Len Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., at Regeneron, many of his academic peers counseled him against going to "the business side" of science — fearing his promising start in academia would be all for naught. He says he never forgets those well-intentioned words, and they are part of what's motivated him to work so hard to keep that from happening.
As it turned out, Dr. Yancopoulos became the 11th most highly cited scientist in the world in the 1990s, and in 2004 he was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Yancopoulos is the inventor of more than 100 patents. Together with key members of his team, he is a principal inventor and developer of Regeneron's five FDA-approved drugs – DUPIXENT® (dupilumab) Injection, PRALUENT® (alirocumab) Injection, EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection, ZALTRAP® (ziv-aflibercept) Injection for Intravenous Infusion, and ARCALYST® (rilonacept) Injection - as well as of Regeneron's foundational technologies for target and drug development, such as its proprietary TRAP technology, VelociGene® and VelocImmune®. These technologies have produced Regeneron’s robust pipeline of fully human antibodies targeting cholesterol-lowering, rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, asthma, pain, cancer and infectious diseases. In 2014, Dr. Yancopoulos and his team launched the Regeneron Genetics Center, a major initiative in human genetic research that has already sequenced exomes from over 150,000 people.
Dr. Yancopoulos is passionate about bringing 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. He plays an active role in Regeneron's STEM commitments, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious high school science and math competition. He hopes it will influence young scientists, just as it did for him when it was called the Westinghouse. He also 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.