Eric H. Rubin, M.D.
Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head
Oncology Early Development
Merck Research Laboratories
Dr. Rubin has focused on cancer drug development for over 25 years, initially as a faculty member at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, then as a senior leader of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, where he served as director of the Investigational Therapeutics Division. His research efforts focused on mechanisms of resistance to DNA topoisomerase-targeting drugs and his laboratory cloned TOPORS, a novel topoisomerase I- and p53-interacting tumor suppressor gene.
In 2008 he was recruited to Merck as vice president, oncology clinical research. Under his leadership, the clinical oncology group underwent a transformational change in an effort to realize the potential of cancer immunotherapy. He led the initial development of the anti-PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab, which was the first anti-PD-1 therapy approved in the U.S., and in the identification of the significant activity of this breakthrough therapeutic across several cancer types. In 2014 Dr. Rubin was asked to head up oncology early development for Merck, and in this role he oversees development of a promising and expansive early pipeline, as well as translational oncology research activities.
Dr. Rubin has authored over 120 original, peer-reviewed publications and book chapters related to oncology translational research, clinical trials and drug development. He has served frequently as a member of National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society study sections, as well as on program committees for the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is a co-chair of the Cancer Steering Committee of the Biomarkers Consortium, Foundation of the National Institute of Health, a member of the Science Policy and Governmental Affairs Committee for AACR, and was a member of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative/Blue Ribbon Panel Working Group on Expanding Clinical Trials.