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Anna Mapp
University of Michigan
Edwin Vedejs Collegiate Professor of Chemistry

Anna Mapp completed her A.B. in chemistry at Bryn Mawr College before moving to the University of California-Berkeley to complete the PhD under the direction of Professor Clayton H. Heathcock. Following postdoctoral work with Professor Peter Dervan at Caltech, Mapp joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2000, where she is currently Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Program in Chemical Biology.

Much of our research focuses upon developing a molecular-level picture of inducible gene expression in eukaryotes using organic molecules as mechanistic probes. Regulated gene expression is critical for cellular existence, and a number of human diseases such as cancer and diabetes have been linked to aberrant patterns of gene expression. Therefore, a goal of primary importance in the scientific community is the discovery of transcription-based therapeutics capable of reprogramming gene expression in diseased cells while leaving normal cells unaffected. While a general sequence of events that leads to gene up-regulation is agreed upon, the molecular-level interactions that regulate the levels and time course of transcriptional activation remain unknown. A more detailed picture of gene regulation is a prerequisite for the eventual development of transcription-based therapeutics.

  • Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award 2014
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow 2011
  • Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award 2011
  • Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry 2007
  • Amgen Young Investigator Award 2006
  • LS&A Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award 2006
  • (NSF) Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists & Engineers 2005
  • GlaxoSmithKline Chemistry Scholars Award 2005
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Chemistry 2004
  • National Science Foundation Career Award 2004
  • Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award 2002
  • March of Dimes New Investigator in the Toxicological Sciences
  • Research Innovation Award, Research Corporation


Ann Weber
Merck Research Laboratories
Vice President for Discovery Chemistry

Dr. Ann E. Weber, Ph.D., is Vice President and Discovery Chemistry Site Head at the Kenilworth, NJ site of Merck Research Laboratories. In this role, she is responsible for the discovery of innovative therapeutic agents to treat patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infectious diseases, and neurological disorders. She joined Merck Research Laboratories in Rahway, NJ as a Senior Research Chemist in 1987. Dr. Weber’s research interests include the design and synthesis of ligands for G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels and enzymes. Her work has led to 19 development candidates in the areas of obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, urinary incontinence, and pain, including JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), which was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2006 as a new treatment for patients with Type 2 diabetes. JANUMET®, a fixed dose combination of sitagliptin and metformin, was approved by the FDA in March 2007.

Dr. Weber is the author or co-author of over 70 publications. She is co-inventor on 29 issued US patents with 10 additional applications pending. In 2002 she was named among the Women at the Forefront of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society Women Chemists Committee. She received the 2007 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey and a Directors’ Award, the highest honor that Merck confers on its employees, for her contributions to the discovery of JANUVIA®. She was part of a team that received the 2007 Prix Galien USA for JANUVIA®, and was named among the 2008 Outstanding Women in Science by the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research. In 2010 she received the Robert M. Scarborough Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry and the Heroes of Chemistry Award, both from the American Chemical Society. She is a 2011 recipient of the Discoverer’s Award, the highest award bestowed by PhRMA, and the Science and Technology Medal from the Research & Development Council of NJ. Before working for Merck, Dr. Weber obtained her B.S. degree in chemistry summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her Ph.D. degree from Harvard University, studying synthetic organic chemistry in the laboratories of Professor David A. Evans.