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October 30, 2012

The 10 Most Well-Connected People in Biotech

Meet the movers and shakers.

The 10 Most Well-Connected People in Biotech

These stars of biotech have been involved with the largest number of firms and institutions. [© violetkaipa - Fotolia.com]

  • Phillip Frost, M.D.<sup>6</sup>

    75 years old

    • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Chairman, Board of Directors, March 2010–present; vice chairman, January 2006
    • OPKO Health, Chairman, Board of Directors, and CEO, March 2007–present; company formed from merger of Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Froptix and eXegenics
    • PROLOR Biotech, Chairman, Board of Directors, March 2008–present
    • Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Chairman, Board of Directors, July 2006–present; director, 2004–present and May 2001–July 2002
    • Non-Invasive Monitoring Systems, Chairman, Board of Directors,
    • Peregrine Ventures, General Partner and Chairman of the Investment Committee
    • Castle Brands, Board of Directors, October 2008–present and September 2005–September 2007
    • Mount Sinai Medical Center, Board of Trustees Executive Committee
    • The Scripps Research Institute, Board of Trustees
    • University of Miami, Board of Trustees
    • Frost Gamma Investments Trust

    Past Activity:

    • IVAX Corp., Chairman and CEO, 1987–2006; President, 1991–1995; company merged with Teva in 2006
    • Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, 2006–2010
    • Ideation Acquisition Corp., Chairman, Board of Directors, June 2007–October 2009
    • Protalix BioTherapeutics, Board of Directors, December 2006–December 2007
    • SafeStitch Medical, Board of Directors, starting 2005
    • Northrop Grumman, Board of Directors, 1996–2009
    • Pan Am, starting April 1996
    • Continucare Corporation, Board of Directors
    • Cellular Technical Services, Board of Directors
    • Mount Sinai Medical Center of Greater Miami, Chairman, Department of Dermatology, 1972–1986
    • University of Miami, School of Medicine, Professor of Dermatology, 1966–1972
    • American Stock Exchange, Co-Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors
    • North American Vaccine, starting October 1989
    • Key Pharmaceuticals, 1972–1986; company acquired by Schering-Plough in 1986
    • U.S. Public Health Service, National Cancer Institute, Lieutenant Commander, 1963–1965


    • University of Paris, attended 1955–1956
    • University of Pennsylvania, B.A. in French Literature, 1957
    • Albert Einstein College of Medicine, M.D., 1961
  • James R. Gavin III, M.D., Ph.D.<sup>7</sup>

    66 years old (November 23, 1945)

    • Baxter International, Board of Directors, 2003–present
    • Healing Our Village Inc., CEO and Chief Medical Officer, 2007–present; executive VP for clinical affairs, 2005–2007
    • Emory University, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Senior Advisor of Health Affairs, 2005–present
    • Indiana University School of Medicine, Clinical Professor of Medicine
    • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, national program director; trustee emeritus, 1980–present
    • Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, 2005–present
    • Elixir Pharmaceuticals, Chairman, Diabetes Advisory Board, April 2008–present
    • U.S. Public Health Service, reserve officer, 1973–present; lieutenant commander, 1971–1973

    Past Activity:

    • MicroIslet, interim president and CEO, 2006; Board of Directors, 2001–2007
    • Nuvelo, Board of Directors, starting 2006
    • Equidyne Corp., Chairman, Board of Directors, 2001–2003
    • Morehouse School of Medicine, 2002–2004
    • American Diabetes Association, past president
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Senior Scientific Officer, 1991–2002
    • HHMI-National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program, director, 2000–2002
    • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center professor of medicine and chief of the Diabetes Section, acting chief of the Section on Endocrinology, Metabolism and Hypertension, 1987–1991
    • William K. Warren Professor for Diabetes Studies, 1989–1991
    • Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, 1978–87; associate professor of medicine, 1985; assistant professor
    • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders, past member, Board of Scientific Councilors for the Intramural Research Program
    • VA Cooperative Diabetes Study, Chairman, Data Safety Monitoring Board
    • National Diabetes Education Program, Chairman Emeritus
    • Hastings Institute, Fellow, 1970–1972


    • Livingstone College, B.S. in chemistry, 1966
    • Emory University, Ph.D. in biochemistry, 1970
    • Duke University School of Medicine, M.D., 1975
  • Jonathan S. Leff <sup>8</sup>

    42 years old

    Warburg Pincus & Co., general partner, 1996–present

    Warburg Pincus LLC, member and Managing Director, Healthcare, responsible for the firm's investment efforts in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, January 2000–present

    Archimedes Pharma, Board of Directors,

    InterMune, Board of Directors, January 2000–present

    ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services, Board of Directors, 2011–present; company acquired by Warburg Pincus, LLC, in 2011

    Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, April 2003–present

    Sophiris Bio, Board of Directors, November 2010–present; director of governance and nomination committee. Company changed name from Protox Therapeutics in April 2012

    Talon Therapeutics, Board of Directors, June 2010–present; Member of the Compensation Committee

    Biotechnology Industry Organization, Board of Directors, Emerging Companies Section Board

    National Venture Capital Association, Board of Directors, 2010–present; Chairman, Medical Innovation and Competitiveness (MedIC) Coalition

    Friends of Cancer Research, Executive Committee and member

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, Board of Directors

    Columbia University Medical Center, Board of Visitors, executive committee

    Past Activity:

    Alita Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, 2006–2008

    Allos Therapeutics, Board of Directors, starting March 2005; company acquired by Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, September 2012

    Altus Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, 2004–2008

    Ganic Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, 2008–2010

    Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, 2007–2011; company acquired by Merck in 2011

    Neurogen, Board of Directors, 2004–2008

    Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, 1999–2006

    Transkaryotic Therapies, Board of Directors, 2000–2005; company acquired by Shire Human Genetics Therapies in 2005

    ZymoGenetics, Board of Directors, 2000–2010

    Oliver, Wyman & Co., consultant


    Harvard University, BA in government, 1990

    Stanford University Graduate School of Business, M.B.A.

  • Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D.<sup>9</sup>

    62 years old (March 31, 1950)

    • Roche Board of Directors (in 2009, Roche acquired Genentech, whose board Dr. Levinson presided as Chairman)
    • Apple Inc., Chairman, Board of Directors, 2011–present; co-lead director, 2005–present; member, 2000–present
    • U.S. Commerce Department, Innovation Advisory Board, 2011–present
    • Amyris, Inc., Board of Directors, 2010–present
    • Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Board of Directors, 2009–present
    • NGM Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Board of Directors, 2009–present
    • Princeton University, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Advisory Council, 2004–present
    • California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research, Industrial Advisory Board, 2003–present
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Board of Scientific Consultants, 2003–present
    • Princeton University, Department of Molecular Biology, Advisory Council, 2003–present
    • Technology Council, Executive Board member, 1997–present

    Past Activity:

    • Genentech, 1980–2009; various positions, including CEO, 1995–2009
    • Google, Board of Directors, 2004–2009
    • Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, Board of Directors, 1997–2001
    • Biotechnology Industry Organization, Board of Directors, 1995–2000


    • University of Washington, B.S. in molecular biology/B.A. in chemistry, 1972
    • Princeton University, PhD in biochemistry, 1977
  • Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D.<sup>10</sup>

    63 years old

    • Biogen Idec Board of Directors, March 2010–present
    • Ceregene, Co-Founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, 2001–present
    • University of California, San Francisco, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, 1986–present
    • San Francisco General Hospital, Attending Physician in the Hematology/Oncology Division
    • Biotechnology Industry Organization, Board of Directors, 2002–present; Board Immediate Past Chair; Chairman, 2009–2012
    • BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, 2010–present
    • Neurocrine Biosciences, Board of Directors, 1999–present
    • Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, March 2000–present
    • President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Advancing Innovation in Drug Development and Evaluation

    Past Activity:

    • Cell Genesys, CEO, 1990–2009; chairman, Board of Directors, 1994–2009; company acquired by BioSante Pharmaceuticals
    • Abgenix, co-founder and chairman; company acquired by Amgen
    • Genentech, 1983–1990; various positions, highest being Vice President, Clinical Research
    • National Cancer Institute, ending 1983


    • Yale University, B.A. summa cum laude in biology, 1970
    • Harvard Medical School, M.D. degree, 1974