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Professor of Biology Peter S. Kim, known for his Whitehead Institute research on AIDS, has been named executive vice president for research and development at the Merck Research Laboratories, effective in February. Dr. Kim, 42, will be responsible for all of Merck's internal drug discovery and development activities.

Dr. Kim, associate head of the biology department, discovered how HIV fuses with human cells and thereby invades them. "Peter Kim is an exceptional scientist and teacher," said Professor Gerald R. Fink, Whitehead director. "Since coming to the Whitehead Institute in 1985, Peter has become an international leader in structural biology and has made major contributions to the field of AIDS research. We wish him great success in his new position at Merck."

Phillip A. Sharp, Institute professor and director of the McGovern Institute at MIT, said Dr. Kim has been "a great educator both in teaching undergraduates biochemistry and training the next generation of professors. Colleagues at MIT will dearly miss his leadership and friendship."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 10, 2001.

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