Ann E. Weber, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President – Drug Discovery at Kallyope Inc., a New York City-based biotechnology company focused on harnessing the potential of the gut-brain axis. In this role she is responsible for translating opportunities arising from the company’s state-of the-art technology platform into drug discovery and development programs. She retired in November 2015 from Merck & Co., where she most recently held the position of Vice President – Lead Optimization Chemistry at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL), responsible for the discovery of innovative therapeutic agents across disease areas. She joined MRL as a Senior Research Chemist in 1987.
Dr. Weber’s research interests include the design and synthesis of ligands for G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels and enzymes. Her work has led to over 40 development candidates, including JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), a treatment for patients with Type 2 diabetes (T2DM), JANUMET®, a fixed dose combination of sitagliptin and metformin, and MARIZEV® (omarigliptin), a once-weekly treatment for T2DM approved in Japan. An additional therapeutic agent, BEOVA® (vibegron) for the treatment of overactive bladder, was approved in Japan in September 2018 and is in late stage clinical trials in the US.
Dr. Weber is the author or co-author of over 90 publications. She is co-inventor on over 35 issued US patents. Her awards include the Robert M. Scarborough Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry (American Chemistry Society (ACS)), the Heroes of Chemistry Award (ACS), the Discoverer's Award (PhRMA), recognizing scientists whose work has been of special benefit to humankind, and a Directors’ Award, the highest honor that Merck confers on its employees. She is a 2013 Liberty Science Center Women in STEM Honoree and the recipient of the 2015 Gift of Mentoring Award from the Metro Women Chemists Committee. In 2016 she was named to the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (ACS). She was the 2017 recipient of the Perkin Medal (Society of Chemical Industry American Section), considered the highest honor given in the US chemical industry. She received the 2018 ACS Award for Creativity in Molecular Design and Synthesis.
Dr. Weber is passionate about advancing women in chemistry and is a member of the ACS Women Chemists Committee.
Before joining Merck, Dr. Weber obtained her B.S. degree in chemistry summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her PhD degree from Harvard University, studying synthetic organic chemistry in the laboratories of Professor David A. Evans.