The Alumni Fellow Award is the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association. Since 1973, the Alumni Fellow Award has been given to select alumni who, as leaders in their professional fields, are nominated by an academic college and accept an invitation from the President of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators.
Eliav Barr is senior vice president and head of Global Medical Affairs at Merck Research Laboratories and has dedicated his career to developing medicines that prevent or treat life-threatening infectious disease. Barr has led the research efforts for Merck’s new drug ZEPATIER, which treats chronic Hepatitis C. This disease, if left untreated, could cause liver disease and failure in more than one million people by 2020.
Previously, Barr served as Merck’s vice president of Infectious Diseases, Global Clinical Development. Barr joined Merck & Co., Inc. in 1995 and in 1998 became the head of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine clinical program. Barr developed the clinical/regulatory strategy for the program; designed and managed 17 clinical studies involving over 30,000 subjects worldwide; developed a program to evaluate the economic impact and long-term efficacy of the HPV vaccine; and oversaw analyses of key clinical studies. The vaccine that was evaluated in these studies (GARDASIL®) has been licensed in over 100 countries. Barr has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and is known as a thoughtful leader in the fields of infectious disease and medicine.
After receiving his bachelor of science degree from Penn State, Barr earned a medical degree from the Jefferson Medical College in 1986 (summa cum laude) and completed an Internal Medicine residency, a Cardiology Fellowship, at Johns Hopkins in 1990. He subsequently pursued post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan and was on faculty at the University of Chicago prior to joining Merck. Barr was honored with the Eberly College of Science’s Outstanding Science Alumni Award in 2012.
Barr lives with his husband, Paul Koulogeorge, in Wayne, Pennsylvania.