Clay B. Siegall (B.S. ’82, zoology) and Michael Greklek-McKeon will speak at the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences May Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony will be held on May 23, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. at the Xfinity Center on campus.
Siegall co-founded Seattle Genetics in 1998 and serves as the company’s president, CEO and chairman of the board. A scientist by training, Siegall built Seattle Genetics on a foundation of scientific innovation, rigorous research and drug development practices, as well as a passion for helping patients.
He has guided the company to its current leadership position in the field of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and in the 2011 FDA approval of its first ADC product, ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin). Under a collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, ADCETRIS has become a global brand that is approved in 71 countries. Seattle Genetics is an emerging global, multi-product oncology company with three programs for solid tumors in late-stage development.
Prior to co-founding Seattle Genetics, Siegall was with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute from 1991 to 1997 and the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute from 1988 to 1991. He holds 15 patents and is an author on more than 70 publications. He serves as a member of the board of directors of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Alder BioPharmaceuticals and Washington Roundtable. Siegall received his Ph.D. in genetics from George Washington University.
Siegall has supported the University of Maryland’s Dr. William J. Higgins Scholar-Teacher Fund, which is named for one of Siegall’s mentors who inspired thousands of students during his nearly 45 years on campus. In addition, when Siegall returned to campus in 2014 as an invited speaker for Bioscience Day, he announced he would create a four-year full scholarship for a life science major at Maryland. The first Clay Siegall Scholarship recipient, biological sciences major Maria Chen, graduates at the May commencement ceremony.
Greklek-McKeon is a Banneker/Key Scholar graduating with bachelor’s degrees in astronomy and physics and a minor in planetary science. He earned Departmental High Honors in astronomy and physics, received his Honors Citation through the University Honors program and won the 2019 University Honors Outstanding Student Award.
Greklek-McKeon successfully defended his honors thesis, “New Science with K2 Legacy Data,” based on research he conducted with Astronomy Professor Drake Deming. In addition to his research on campus, Greklek-McKeon works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in nearby Greenbelt, where he has served as a space weather forecaster for the last three years.
He has also completed several summer research internships. At NASA, Greklek-McKeon worked on solar flare prediction. At the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, he performed numerical simulations for a project to map the Earth’s magnetosphere. In addition, at the Institute for Astronomy in Hawai’i, he identified new variability in the brightest stars in the sky.
Greklek-McKeon has authored and co-authored multiple scientific papers and presented his research at conferences across the country. A member of the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honors Society and a Maryland Space Grant Scholar, Greklek-McKeon was also awarded honorable mention in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program.
On campus, Greklek-McKeon has served as a teaching assistant and lab instructor for introductory astrophysics and observational astronomy courses. He has volunteered as a recruitment ambassador for the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, and with a local elementary school homework help program called En Camino. Greklek-McKeon also played on the club rugby team through his sophomore year and played two winless seasons of intramural basketball.
In the fall, Greklek-McKeon will begin a Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology, where he will research the properties of planets outside our solar system.
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About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 9,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college’s 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $175 million.