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Roy and Diana Vagelos Director of the Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Sciences: Ponzy Lu

April 3, 2012, Volume 58, No. 28

Ponzi LuDr. Ponzy Lu has been appointed the Roy and Diana Vagelos Director of the Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Sciences in the School of Arts & Sciences. This directorship was established with a gift from the Marianthi Foundation. The program, which offers an enhanced biochemistry curriculum combined with summer research participation at Penn, was established in 1997. Dr. Lu is the program’s founding director.

Dr. Lu is also chair of the undergraduate biochemistry program, a role he has served in since 1982. He is the recipient of the School of Arts & Sciences’ Dean’s Award for Mentorship of Undergraduate Research which recognizes faculty members who have excelled in nurturing students’ abilities to conduct meaningful research. He held an NIH Career Award during his early years at Penn. He was an Arthritis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck Institut in Göttingen and the Institut für Genetik at the Universität zu Köln; an EMBO Visiting Fellow at the Université de Genève; and a CNRS Fellow at the Université Aix-Provence. He completed his formal education at California Institute of Technology and MIT.

Dr. Roy Vagelos, a chemistry major who graduated from Penn in 1950 before going on to receive a medical degree from Columbia University, is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Merck & Co. He served as chair of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1995 to 1999, and is a former member of the School of Arts & Sciences’ Board of Overseers and the former chair of the Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid. Diana Vagelos is a former overseer of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The Vagelos’ have given many gifts to Penn including most recently a multi-million dollar gift to establish the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) (Almanac October 4, 2011).

Other gifts include the Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management, the Vagelos Endowed Scholars Program in Molecular Life Sciences, the Vagelos Science Challenge Scholarship Award, the Roy and Diana Vagelos Laboratories of the Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Roy and Diana Vagelos Chair in Chemistry and Chemical Biology and support for the renovation of the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratories.

Almanac - April 3, 2012, Volume 58, No. 28