Alumni Profile: Ann E. Weber '82

Ann Weber '82

Ann E. Weber, Ph.D., is currently senior vice president of drug discovery at Kallyope Inc., a New York City-based biotechnology company focused on harnessing the potential of the gut-brain axis. She retired in November 2015, from Merck and Co, where she was most recently vice president of lead optimization chemistry at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL). In this role, she was responsible for the discovery of innovative therapeutic agents across disease areas. She joined MRL as a senior research chemist in 1987.

Weber’s research interests include the design and synthesis of ligands for G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels and enzymes. Her work has led to over 40 development candidates, including Januvia® (sitagliptin), a treatment for patients with Type 2 diabetes; Janumet®, a fixed dose combination of sitagliptin and metformin; and Marizev® (omarigliptin), a once-weekly treatment for type 2 diabetes that was approved in Japan in September 2015. One additional drug candidate, vibegron for the treatment of overactive bladder, is in late stage clinical trials.

Weber is the author or co-author of over 80 publications. She is co-inventor on over 35 issued US patents. Her awards include the Robert M. Scarborough Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry (ACS), the Heroes of Chemistry Award (ACS), the Discoverer's Award (PhRMA), recognizing scientists whose work has been of special benefit to humankind, and a Directors’ Award, the highest honor that Merck confers on its employees. She is a 2013 Liberty Science Center Women in STEM Honoree and the recipient of the 2015 Gift of Mentoring Award from the Metro Women Chemists Committee. In 2017, Weber was awarded the Perkin Medal, one of the highest honors given in the field of applied chemistry,  by the Society of Chemical Industry, America Group, for her work in developing Januvia® and Janumet®.

Before joining Merck, Weber obtained her B.S. degree in chemistry summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her Ph.D. degree in synthetic organic chemistry from Harvard University.