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Dr. D. Gary Gilliland, Internationally-Recognized Physician and Researcher, Joins Merck Research Labs as Head of Oncology Research


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. - Merck & Co., Inc. today announced that D. Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned oncology researcher and physician has been named senior vice president of Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) and Oncology Franchise Head. Dr. Gilliland assumes his new role on March 2 and will report to Peter S. Kim, president, MRL.

“We are delighted to bring a physician-scientist of Gary Gilliland’s stature to the MRL team,” said Peter S. Kim, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “Gary’s work and leadership have had major impact on our understanding and treatment of human cancer. His expertise in both basic and translational research will enhance Merck’s efforts to develop innovative and individualized medicines to treat this devastating disease.”

Dr. Gilliland, 54, comes to Merck after nearly 20 years on the faculty at Harvard, where he serves as Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. He is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, director of the Leukemia Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and director of the Cancer Stem Cell Program of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

In his new role Dr. Gilliland will lead the implementation of Merck’s oncology research strategy. He will be a member of Merck’s Research Management Committee and will be responsible for the alignment of the Oncology research franchise with Merck’s Global Human Health organization.

“Gary Gilliland is an outstanding addition to our world-class roster of physician-scientists,” said Richard T. Clark, chief executive officer and president, Merck. “I look forward to his contributions to Merck’s oncology research in support of our mission of improving human health.”

An internationally recognized oncology investigator, Dr. Gilliland has made seminal discoveries that have identified the genetic basis of leukemia and other cancers that affect the blood and bone marrow. He has spearheaded the application of these findings into the development of new investigational cancer treatments, including molecularly targeted therapies, and has advanced this research into all phases of clinical development. His work has earned him numerous honors including the William Dameshek Prize from the American Society of Hematology, the Emil J. Freireich Award from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

“I am very excited to join Merck at such a pivotal point for both the Company and the field,” said Dr. Gilliland. “Oncology research is at a critical crossroad where the potential exists to develop truly novel therapeutics that are more effective, less toxic, and are specifically tailored to the individual with cancer.”

Dr. Gilliland received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. He completed his internship and residency, including serving as Chief Medical Resident, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He completed his Hematology and Medical Oncology training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, respectively.

Dr. Gilliland is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

Dr. Gilliland will replace Dr. Stephen H. Friend. Dr. Friend announced that he will be leaving the Company later this year to lead an effort to build open access integrative bionetworks, or complex databases, whereby scientific researchers around the world can collaborate on disease representations to advance collective scientific knowledge. The goal is to leverage collaboration to accelerate the elimination of human disease. Merck has been and will remain a key supporter of Dr. Friend on his ambitious and promising endeavor.

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statement
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this news release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck’s business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Item 1A of Merck’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, and in any risk factors or cautionary statements contained in the Company’s periodic reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.


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