GEORGE D. YANCOPOULOS, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron
George Damis Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., is co-Founder, President and Chief Scientist of Regeneron, which he helped build into one of the world’s premier biotech companies, together with long-time partner Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., Regeneron’s Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. Yancopoulos is the key driver of Regeneron’s science-driven culture and unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine, leading to its ten FDA-approved or -authorized treatments and promising pipeline. Yancopoulos and his team invented multiple innovative and industry-leading technologies such as the VelocImmune® mouse (with a genetically-humanized immune system that can efficiently generate human antibody drug candidates) that have delivered blockbusters such as EYLEA® (leading treatment to prevent blindness due to macular degeneration and diabetes), Dupixent® (leading biologic to treat asthma, atopic dermatitis and other allergic diseases), Praluent® (first treatment targeting PCSK9 to lower LDL and heart disease), Libtayo® (leading treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers) as well as the first approved “antibody cocktail” treatments for Ebola and COVID-19. Yancopoulos is the holder of more than 100 patents and a principal inventor of many of Regeneron’s medicines and foundational technologies.
Yancopoulos is a first-generation Greek-American who grew up in NYC, attending public schools and graduating as valedictorian of both the Bronx High School of Science and Columbia University. Yancopoulos then received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University. At Columbia, he was one of legendary geneticist Dr. Fred Alt's first doctoral students.
Regeneron has routinely been named among the “Most Innovative Companies in the World” by Forbes, and the “Number One Company to Work For” in the biopharmaceutical industry by Science. Yancopoulos was among the ten most highly cited scientists in the world during the 1990s, was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 2004, and has won numerous awards including induction into the “Biotech Hall of Fame” in 2014, “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young for 2016 (along with Schleifer), one of “America’s 100 Most Innovative Leaders” (along with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk) by Forbes in 2019, and one of the “Pandemic’s Greatest Heroes” (along with Tony Fauci and Bill Gates) by Fortune in 2020.
Yancopoulos often notes that his interest in science is a direct result of his high school experiences in science projects and science fairs. Thus, Yancopoulos drives Regeneron’s commitment to STEM education, and spearheaded the company’s becoming the primary sponsor for the world’s leading high school science competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS; formerly the Westinghouse and Intel STS) and the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF; formerly the Intel ISEF). Regeneron has committed over $100 million to support these programs.