Biotechnology icon and business leader George Scangos will be the distinguished keynote speaker for the 113th USC School of Pharmacy Commencement on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 2 pm on Broad Lawn on the USC Health Sciences Campus.

George Scangos, president and CEO of Vir Biotechnology, will be the distinguished keynote speaker for the USC School of Pharmacy Commencement.

“I am delighted that George Scangos has agreed to serve as this year’s honored keynote speaker,” said Vassilios Papadopoulos, dean of the USC School of Pharmacy. “A global leader in the field of biotechnology, he has participated in major innovations and historic advances in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields, and has created companies doing cutting-edge research to create effective therapies that solve critical unanswered needs around the world. I very much look forward to welcoming this influential visionary to address the members of our graduating class of 2020 and our school community.”

Named one of the 25 most influential people in biotechnology, Scangos is president and CEO of Vir Biotechnology, a clinical-stage immunology company that is focused on cutting-edge technologies to treat and prevent serious infectious diseases, one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

Prior to joining Vir Biotechnology in 2017, Scangos was CEO of the global publicly traded biopharmaceutical company Biogen for six years, during which time sales more than doubled, from $4.7 billion in 2010 to $10.8 billion in 2016; he effected a turnaround by restructuring the company, presiding over the rollout of six new drugs including a blockbuster oral multiple sclerosis drug. Previously, Scangos served as president and CEO at Exelixis, Inc., a drug discovery and development company, and as president of Bayer Biotechnology, where he was responsible for research, business development, process development, manufacturing, engineering and quality assurance of Bayer Biotechnology’s biological products. Before joining Bayer Biotechnology in 1987, Scangos was a professor of biology at Johns Hopkins University.

Scangos currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Cornell University and the Board of Overseers of the University of California, San Francisco. Scangos received his B.A. in biology from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts and was a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow in the Yale University laboratory of renowned geneticist Frank Ruddle.

The 137th USC Commencement will take place on Friday, May 15 at 8:30 am at Alumni Memorial Park, USC University Park Campus. The 113th USC School of Pharmacy Commencement will begin at 2 pm at Broad Lawn, USC Health Sciences Campus. Learn more about USC’s 2020 commencement activities at