Emmett Schmidt | Vice President, Clinical Oncology
Merck Research Laboratories

Emmett Schmidt, Vice President, Clinical Oncology, Merck Research Laboratories

Emmett received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Harvard College in 1974 and a simultaneous M.A. in Biology. He received MD and PhD degrees having attended medical school and graduate school at the Duke University School of Medicine from 1975 to 1981. He completed internship, residency and fellowship in Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases at Boston Children?s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.   Emmett was at the Massachusetts General Hospital of the Harvard Medical School from 1998 until 2010. Starting as a founding member of the MGH Cancer Center, Emmett became a full professor in 2004 and served as the Associate Chief of the Department of Pediatrics from 2002 until 2010. 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). Clinical highlights of his time at MGH included running a small pediatric HIV unit, co-founding the Pediatric Hospitalist Group and directing the Pediatric Residency from 1996 until 2010. Along the way he was the PI or co-PI for the following: six RO1s, one UO1, and two SPORE projects from the NIH; an ACS RIG; a MacDonnell Scholar grant; as well as grants from the Brain Tumor Society, the Hood Foundation, Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals, and the Pfeiffer Research Foundation. He was elected a member of the two academic Pediatric leadership societies including the Society for Pediatric Research in 1997 and the American Pediatric Society in 2000. Emmett joined Merck in 2011.  Initially recruited to Experimental Medicine, his early assignments included the First-in-Human study of MK-8353 (ERK inhibitor), and evaluation of a clinically-derived biomarker for MK-0646 (anti-IGFR) in colorectal cancer. Subsequent studies as part of the Oncology group included a broad portfolio of studies of MK-2206 (AKT inhibitor) encompassing four internal studies, 31 National Cancer Institute-sponsored studies and the I-SPY2 breast cancer collaboration.  Subsequent assignments included clinical lead roles for the vintafolide program, and for the First-in-Human study of MK-4166, an inhibitor of the glucocorticoid-induced TNFR family related gene (GITR). In 2013 Emmett joined the pembrolizumab team taking on key responsibilities for developing phase 3 registration studies in adjuvant melanoma (053 and 054) as well as the first-line head and neck trial (048). Emmett has supported successful filing activities for pembrolizumab both within and outside of the United States. As part of the pembrolizumab melanoma team Emmett was the clinical lead for Keynotes 002, 027, 053, and 054. He has been part of the filing teams for 001, 002, and 006, as well as representing the Melanoma clinical team for global filing activities. He currently leads the External Collaborations PDT whose studies include over 120 partnered studies of clinical combinations of pembrolizumab and a broad portfolio of other cancer drugs.

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