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- Dr. Joe Vacca

"We apply a high level of
scientific expertise to each project."

Dr. Joe Vacca

Senior Vice President of International Discovery Services Unit (IDSU)

Dr. Joe Vacca earned his BS in chemistry in 1977 from St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York, and obtained his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry under Professor Peter T. Lansbury Sr. at the State University of New York at Buffalo (Buffalo, New York).

He joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1981 as a Senior Research Chemist and has contributed to several primary research projects including the discovery of HIV-1 and HCV protease inhibitors, and the discovery and development of HIV integrase inhibitors.  His work on the HIV-1 protease project led to the discovery of Merck’s HIV protease inhibitor CRIXIVAN™ (indinavir sulfate).  He held several positions within Merck and retired in Nov. 2011. Dr. Vacca recently joined Wuxi Apptec Inc. as Sr. Vice President of Early Success Sharing Partnerships.

Dr. Vacca has over 100 publications and patents and is the holder of many awards including a Merck Directors Award (1998); PhRMA Discoverers Award (1999); Intellectual Property Owners “National Inventor of the year Award” (1997); European Inventor of the Year (non-EU nation)(2007).

ACS “Award for Creative Invention” (1999); and was a named a Merck Research Laboratories Presidential Fellow in 2008.  He was recently named to the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (Aug. 2012) and was also named a “Hero of Chemistry” (along with the research team) for his role in the discovery and development of the HIV integrase inhibitor IsentressTM.