Former CDC director named president of Merck Vaccines

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck & Co. Inc. announced that a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been named president of Merck Vaccines, effective Jan. 25.

Dr. Julie Gerberding led the CDC from 2002 to 2009. She stepped down when President Barack Obama took office.

“Vaccines are a cornerstone of Merck's commitment to health and wellness," said Richard T. Clark, chairman and CEO of Merck. "As a pre-eminent authority in public health, infectious diseases and vaccines, 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."

Gerberding will lead the company's $5 billion global vaccine business. A press release from Merck stated that she will be responsible for the commercialization of its current portfolio of vaccines, planning for the introduction of vaccines from its vaccine pipeline, and accelerating Merck's efforts in the developing world.

She will also collaborate with leaders of Merck Manufacturing Division and Merck Research Laboratories to manage the linkages between basic research, late-stage development and manufacturing to expand Merck's vaccine offerings throughout the world.

"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," Gerberding said. "I am very excited to be joining Merck where I can help to expand access to vaccines around the world."