Stephen Udem (1994–2014) studied chemistry at City College, and earned M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He worked as an infectious disease clinician at several New York and New Jersey hospitals over the course of his career. Udem also made critical contributions to the fields of virology and vaccinology, first through academic research and later through his work in vaccine development in both industry and nonprofit settings.
Much of his research focused on mechanisms of viral persistence in the central nervous system. From 1994 to 2006, he held various leadership positions at Wyeth, where he managed the expansion of the company’s vaccine programs. Udem then directed vaccine development efforts at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative before establishing his own consultancy practice for vaccine R&D. He was a member of the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.