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Merck principal scientist to speak at College of Medicine in February

Penn State College of Medicine faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral scholars and resident/fellow trainees are invited to attend a special topics research seminar on Merck’s efforts to discover new drugs aimed at fighting deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, better known as “superbugs.” The event will take place 4 to 5 p.m. Feb. 26, 2020, in Lecture Room D.

A professional photo of Scott Walker of Merck standing in a lab.

Merck’s Dr. Scott Walker will speak at the College of Medicine.

Antibiotic resistant Gram-negative bacteria are a serious and growing threat to human health. To combat this crisis, novel agents that circumvent established resistance mechanisms are urgently needed. Merck’s use of large-scale antibacterial phenotypic screening and systematic hit triage have revealed novel targets and novel inhibitors of established targets. Turning these leads into drugs remains a significant challenge.

The featured presenter is Scott S. Walker, PhD, principal scientist of infectious diseases at Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, Pa., where he works to discover new antibiotics to treat life-threatening infections by resistant bacteria. His current research is aimed at discovering new drugs to fight superbugs. Walker focuses on Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Maine and a PhD in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of Connecticut Health Center School of Medicine.

This event is sponsored by Research Development, Center for Medical Innovation and Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Registration is not required. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. with light refreshments served. The lecture will begin promptly at 4 p.m.

With questions, email Jessica Kiely at

In addition to the in-person presentation, attendees may participate via Zoom webinar or by calling 646-876-9923, meeting ID 541 952 996.

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