Dr. Graziano has worked in the drug discovery and early clinical development arena for more than 25 years. His training is in molecular pharmacology with early research focused on identifying and characterizing components of G protein-mediated signal transduction pathways. He began his career in drug discovery R &D at Merck Research Laboratories, initiating and leading several programs in the cardiometabolic and neuroscience arenas.
As Executive Director, Head of Cardiometabolic Drug Discovery and a member of the Cardiometabolic Development Leadership Team at Schering–Plough his responsibilities included defining and executing R&D strategy. His organization identified several drug candidates that entered clinical development including the marketed cholesterol absorption inhibitor ezetimibe (Zetia®) and the anti-platelet agent vorapaxar ( Zontivity®).
Dr. Graziano returned to Merck as Executive Director of External Cardiovascular and Diabetes Basic Research in a newly created Eternal Basic Research organization. In that role he built an organization designed to access and link external innovation with assets and expertise at Merck via novel, highly interactive models of collaboration. Programs were established with a range of stakeholders including academic institutions, biotechnology companies and contract research organizations. He led several research collaborations which yielded programs that entered Merck’s discovery pipeline.
Dr. Graziano currently consults for biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions on a range of topics including R&D strategy development, initiation and execution of drug discovery programs, preclinical and translational biomarker identification and early clinical development. He received a BA in Biology from New York University, a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the School of Basic Health Sciences at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Alfred Gilman at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He is author of more than 60 scientific publications and inventor on numerous patents.