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Aubrey Watkins III, PhD

Aubrey Watkins III
Director, Scientific Affairs
Search & Evaluation
Emergent BioSolutions
New Jersey, USA

Dr. Aubrey Watkins III is currently Director, Scientific Affairs, Search & Evaluation at Emergent BioSolutions (Gaithersburg, MD) with responsibility for due diligence and evaluation activities in support of the Chief Scientific Officer to drive strategic mergers and acquisitions.

Dr. Aubrey Watkins III previously held the position of Director in Business Development & Licensing at Merck Sharp & Dohme in Kenilworth, NJ with responsibility as a Transaction Manager for deal execution regarding preclinical and clinical assets to support the growth of Merck's Oncology drug pipeline.

He was an Associate Director in the Global Procurement department at Merck Sharp & Dohme, a global pharmaceutical manufacturer, where he led due diligence, negotiated and executed contracts and managed over $100M of business spend on a fee-for-service basis annually with suppliers on a global basis. His scope of responsibilities was wide-ranging and included pre-clinical research supply chain sourcing and biomanufacturing of vaccines and biologics for Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. Dr. Watkins worked in drug discovery as a molecular biologist, cell biologist, and biochemist where he developed in vitro and in vivo assays for 11 years in the Cancer Research Department at Merck where he was the first to identify MK2206, a molecule that targets the Akt kinase, as a cellular-active compound for oncology. Prior to joining Merck, he held the position of Molecular Biologist at The DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company in the Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Biology department in Wilmington, DE.

His academic credentials include a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Pittsburgh with a minor in Chemistry and Mathematics; a Master of Science degree (MS) in Pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Molecular Pharmacology and Structural Biology from Thomas Jefferson University as a participant in the Merck Doctoral Program. In addition to his academic and professional career, Dr. Watkins proudly served in the United States Army Reserve as a Combat Engineer where he received a letter of commendation from the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm. Key leadership roles include his post as National Chairperson of the League of Employees of African Descent (also known as LEAD), an employee business resource group at Merck, where he led the organization with a primary mission of fostering professional development for over 700 members nationwide, and as International Chapter Leader for Merck's Business Insights Roundtable. He is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Leadership Council at The Wistar Institute. Dr. Watkins is also serving on the Alumni Board at the Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences at Thomas Jefferson University