Most graduates of the Columbia University MD-PhD program go on to careers as independent researchers at academic medical centers. Each year we invite distinguished alumni to present a research talk at the Annual MD-PhD Student Research Symposium. Current students are able to meet and discuss science with the alumni and hear about their important career trajectories. A complete list of these distinguished alumni is shown below. If you would like to view a list of all of our alumni please visit our Alumni Directory.

Distinguished Alumni Speakers


P. Roy Vagelos, MD (’54), Retired Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc., Chairman of the Board, Regeneron Pharmaceuiticals, Inc. 
A Career in Science, Healthcare and Business


Elliott Sherr, MD-PhD (’95), Professor, UCSF Department of Neurology, Director, UCSF Comprehensive Center for Brain Development
“The Quest for the Holy Grail: A Genetics First Approach to Autism”


Paul J. Maddon, MD-PhD (’88), Founder and Vice Chairman at Progenics Pharmaceuticals; Columbia University Trustee
“A Biotechnology Entrepreneur’s Journey”


Sydney Cash, MD-PhD (‘00), Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital
“Microelectrode Recordings of Normal and Epileptic Brain Activity in Patients”


David Harris, MD-PhD (’83), Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine
“How Do Prions Cause Neurodegeneration?”


Steven Artandi, MD-PhD (’95), Associate Professor of Medicine, Cancer Biology Program, Stanford University School of Medicine
“Telomerase in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology”


Harvey Rubin, MD-PhD (‘76), Director, Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Computer Science, University of Pennsylvania
“The Molecular Mechanism of Dormancy in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis”


Alfred I. Neugut, MD-PhD (’77), Myron M. Studner Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Associate Director Population Sciences, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center
“Reducing the Burden of Colon Cancer Incidence and Mortality: Epidemiologic Approaches”


Pamela L. Schwartzberg, MD-PhD (’92), Head, Cell Signaling Section, Genetic Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute
“Integrating T Cell Signals: Lessons from Primary Immunodeficiencies”


George Yancopoulos, MD-PhD (‘87), President, Regeneron Research Laboratories
“Discovery Research Leading to Therapeutic Candidates in Cancer and Angiogenesis, Inflammation, Obesity and Diabetes”