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Michael Kress, Ph.D.

Senior vice president, developmental sciences and clinical supply

"The questions that we seek to solve are really: how many people can we help and how much can we help them? That’s really at the core of access and how we take a patient-centric approach to discovery and development."

Years at Merck Research Laboratories


Michael Kress is senior vice president of developmental sciences and clinical supply at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL). In this role, Kress leads an interdisciplinary team responsible for drug substance, drug product, analytical and clinical supply of small molecules, biologics and vaccines for the company.

Kress joined Merck in 1995 as senior research chemist within the process research group where his research focused on the development of efficient synthetic processes to a variety of drug development targets within Merck’s diabetes and pain franchises. After joining Cephalon, Inc., Kress returned to Merck in 2007 as executive director of pharmaceutical development and was promoted to vice president of pharmaceutical research and development. During his tenure within drug product development, he supported key development programs and product launches in diabetes, sleep disorders and hepatitis C. Since 2021, Kress has led development sciences and clinical supply, bringing the drug substance, drug product, analytical and clinical supply functions together under one organization.

Kress received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. in synthetic chemistry from Harvard University. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the Innovation and Quality Consortia. Kress was recently appointed to the Hilleman board of directors to help expand the access of lifesaving vaccines to patients through innovative science.