Dr. Schmidt is a Scientific Associate Vice President of Clinical Oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, where he leads the team overseeing more than 46 company collaborations involving more than 95 studies. He joined the company in 2011 as a senior principal scientist in clinical oncology, with clinical assignments for early development that included MK-8353 (ERK inhibitor), a biomarker driven study of MK-0646 (anti-IGFR) in colorectal cancer, a broad portfolio of studies of MK-2206 (AKT inhibitor), and MK-4166, an inhibitor of the glucocorticoid-induced TNFR family related gene (GITR). In 2013, Dr. Schmidt moved to late stage development and joined the pembrolizumab team, taking on key responsibilities for developing registration studies in adjuvant melanoma as well as first-line head and neck cancer.
Prior to Merck, Dr. Schmidt served as director of residency training in pediatrics and then as associate chief at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for Children. He was a founding member of the MGH Cancer Center. Highlights of his research career include the experimental demonstration that cyclin D1 can function as a driver oncogene in breast cancer; studies of the mechanisms by which cell growth drives cell division; initial demonstrations that c-Myc has a primary function in regulating cell growth; and development of a range of transgenic models of cancers (lymphoma, gastric, HCC, and breast). Dr. Schmidt has been a reviewer and lead for both American Cancer Society and NIH Study Sections in Cancer Biology. Clinical highlights of his time at MGH included running a small pediatric HIV unit and participating as a founding member of the Pediatric Hospitalist Group.
He is an elected member of the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society, and has been a reviewer for Molecular and Cellular Biology, New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer Research, Oncogene, Hepatology, and Cell Growth and Differentiation.
Dr. Schmidt received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in biology from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. and medical degree from Duke University. He completed his doctoral work in the Department of microbiology and Immunology, and completed internship, residency and fellowship in pediatrics and infectious diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital.