100 Years of Partnership
Dr. Adel K. Mahmoud, the Egyptian-born American Global Health Leader that Developed the HPV and Rotavirus Vaccine

Born on August 24,1941 in Cairo, Egypt, Dr. Adel K. Mahmoud was an Egyptian-born American doctor and expert in infectious diseases, credited with the development of the Gardasil HPV vaccine and the rotavirus vaccine.

Previously referencing the passing of his father of pneumonia when Mahmoud was just 10 years old as his first experience with infectious disease, as being a significant factor that profoundly impacted his future path.

In 1963, Mahmoud received his M.D. from the University of Cairo, and in 1971, he obtained a Ph.D. from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Mahmoud immigrated to the United States in 1973 as a postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University, and quickly rose through the ranks to lead the Division of Geographic Medicine and became chair of the Department of Medicine in 1987.

In 1998, Mahmoud became president of Merck & Co.’s vaccine division, where he oversaw the development of several important vaccines, including the rotavirus vaccine and the HPV vaccine.

After retiring from Merck in 2006, Mahmoud joined Princeton University, where he engaged in public policy discussions and worked to inspire the next generation. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Mahmoud began advocating for the creation of a global vaccine-development fund.

In addition to his vast and life-saving achievements, Mahmoud frequently provided scientific advice to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, universities, and research institutions around the world.

Since his passing in 2018, his legacy remains of one that was beloved by many, leaving an impact on thousands of medical students, physicians, scientists, researchers, and public health leaders. 

Photo: NIH, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons