Dr Gary Starling | Associate Vice President, Discovery Biologics

Dr Gary Starling, Associate Vice President, Discovery Biologics, Merck

Gary Starling is a member of the Discovery Biologics department based in South San Francisco, CA.  He joined Merck in December 2012 to lead the Therapeutic Area Biology and Pharmacology group in the Biologics Discovery organization.  In 2013, he headed up the Biologics Discovery organization which included responsibility for Protein production, mAb generation, translational research, Bioanalytics and DMPK activities related to discovery-stage biologics.  In his current role, Gary is advancing the implementation of novel therapeutic modalities to enhance Merck’s pipeline.
Gary’s career has focused on the Discovery and Early Development of Biologics therapeutics, building on his Ph.D. studies in Immunology at the Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand where he studied NK cells and made mAb against leukocyte surface antigens.  Following post-doctoral work in Immunogenetics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, WA, and subsequent studies on Dendritic Cell maturation in Christchurch, New Zealand, Gary began his career in the BioPharmaceutical industry at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Seattle working on extracellular domains of leukocyte antigens as targets for monoclonal antibodies (mAb).  He worked on Discovery stage small molecule therapeutics at BMS in Princeton NJ, before working for CuraGen, a Genomics-based biotech in the New Haven, CT area.  At CuraGen, Gary headed up the Inflammation group, and had Project Management and Collaboration Management responsibilities for Biologics Programs.  He moved to California in 2005 to join PDL BioPharma, a company that pioneered humanization of mAb, to head up their Autoimmune Diseases group.  PDL BioPharma spun out Facet Biotech, where Gary was Senior Director of Research with responsibilities for Translational Oncology (including Empliciti, now approved for treatment of Multiple Myeloma) and led a preclinical Autoimmune Disease mAb program.  Following the acquisition of Facet Biotech by Abbott Labs, Gary became Director, Oncology Biologics, and formed and led the Costimulation Early Biology Unit, establishing the company’s Immuno-Oncology program.

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