Alex Philippidis Senior News Editor Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Meet the movers and shakers.

It has been said that, in business, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The people with the most connections may very well be the most powerful people within an industry. You’ve already met the young guns of biopharma; now, GEN thinks it’s time you got to know the most connected people in biotech. Below is a list, in alphabetical order, of 10 “well-connected” board members and executives with responsibilities at biopharma companies and/or medical research institutions, based on present and past activity. Dates for that activity are furnished where they are known.

David Baltimore, Ph.D.1

74 years old (March 7, 1938)

  • Amgen, Board of Directors, 2012–present
  • California Institute of Technology, President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology; President, 1997–2006
  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1975, shared with Howard Temin (with Renato Dulbecco, for related research) for identifying the enzyme reverse transcriptase in the virus particles, thus providing strong evidence for a process of RNA to DNA conversion, the existence of which had been hypothesized some years earlier
  • Broad Institute, Board of Directors and Board of Scientific Counselors
  • Foundation for Biomedical Research, Board of Directors
  • Regulus Therapeutics, Board of Directors, 2008–present
  • Immune Design Corp. (formerly Vaccsys), co-founder and member, Board of Directors, 2008–present
  • Calimmune, co-founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, 2008–present
  • Human Genome Organization (HUGO), member

Past Activity:

  • BB Biotech AG, Board of Directors, 2004–2011
  • Cellerant, Board of Directors, ending 2008
  • MedImmune, Board of Directors, 2003–2007
  • Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee, governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, 2005–2007
  • National Institutes of Health AIDS Vaccine Research Committee, 1996
  • The Rockefeller University, President, 1990-91; faculty member, 1990–1994
  • Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, founding director, 1982–1990
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Associate Professor of Microbiology, 1968–1972; Professor of Biology, 1972-1990
  • National Academy of Sciences, committee on a National Strategy for AIDS, 1986
  • American Cancer Society, professor of microbiology and research professor, starting 1973


  • Swarthmore College, B.A. with high honors in Chemistry, 1960
  • Rockefeller University, Ph.D. received in 1964; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduate courses toward Ph.D., 1960–1961

Bruce L. Booth, D.Phil.2

38 years old

  • Atlas Venture, Partner, Life Sciences group, 2005–present
  • UCB, Scientific Advisor
  • New York Academy of Medicine, Board of Trustees and treasurer
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Accelerating Bench to Bedside research initiative
  • Bicycle Therapeutics, Board of Directors, November 2010–present
  • LifeTech Boston, Finance Review Committee
  • miRagen Therapeutics, Co-Founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, July 2007–present
  • Nimbus Discovery, co-founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, May 2009–present
  • OnQity, Chairman, Board of Directors, December 2009–present
  • Protaffin, Board of Directors, September 2010–present
  • Zafgen, Board of Directors, August 2006–present

Past Activity:

  • ARCA Biopharma
  • Archemix
  • Avila Therapeutics, Board of Directors, January 2007–2012; acquired by Celgene in 2012
  • Ivrea Pharmaceuticals
  • NxStage Medical, Board of Directors, 2005
  • Prestwick, Board of Directors; company acquired by Biovail, September 2008
  • Proprius, Board of Directors; company acquired by Cypress Biosciences, February 2008
  • Stromedix, Board of Directors; company acquired by Biogen Idec in March 2012.
  • Caxton Health Holdings LLC, principal focusing on firm’s private equity activities, 2004–2005
  • McKinsey & Company, associate principal, 1999–2004


  • Pennsylvania State University, B.S., summa cum laude in biochemistry, 1996
  • Oxford University, D.Phil. in molecular immunology, 1999; British Marshall Scholar

William Brody, M.D., Ph.D.3

68 years old (Jan. 4, 1944)

  • Novartis, Board of Directors, 2009-present; member, compensation committee
  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies, President, March 2009–present
  • Stanford University, Board of Trustees, June 2009–present
  • Novamed Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors
  • International Business Machines Corp., Board of Directors
  • Kool Smiles, Board of Directors
  • National Institutes of Health, Scientific Management Review Board

Past Activity:

  • The Johns Hopkins University, president, 1996–2009; Martin Donner Professor and director of the Department of Radiology, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and professor of biomedical engineering; and radiologist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1987-1994
  • Resonex, president and CEO, 1984–1987
  • Stanford University, associate professor and professor for Radiology and Electrical Engineering, 1977–1986
  • Council on Competitiveness, executive commitee
  • Whitaker Foundation, governing committee
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Greater Baltimore Committee
  • Medtronic, Board of Directors
  • University of Minnesota, provost of the Academic Health Center
  • Minnesota Orchestral Association, Board of Directors
  • Goldseker Foundation, selection committee
  • Food and Drug Administration, Science Board


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.S. in electrical engineering, 1966; B.S. in electrical engineering, 1965
  • Stanford University, Ph.D. in electrical engineering, 1972; M.D. in electrical engineering, 1970

John K. Clarke 4

58 years old

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Co-Founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, 2002–present
  • aTyr Pharma, Board of Directors
  • Cardinal Partners, Co-Founder and Managing General Partner, 1997–present
  • Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, April 2002–present
  • Verastem, Board of Directors, Chairman of Audit Committee, November 2010–present
  • Hands Together, Board of Trustees; nonprofit provider of health care and education support to the needy in Haiti

Past Activity

  • Alkermes, co-founder and interim CEO, 1987–2003
  • Abide Therapeutics, Board of Directors
  • Arris Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors
  • Axys Pharmaceuticals, CEO
  • Cubist Pharmaceuticals, founder, interim CEO, Board of Directors, member of Audit and Compensation Committees, 1992–2005
  • DNX Corp., interim CEO
  • DSV Partners (evolved into Cardinal Partners), General Partner, 1982–1997
  • General Electric, various sales and marketing positions
  • The Jackson Laboratory, Board of Trustees
  • Molecular Mining, Board of Directors
  • New Jersey Technology Council, Board of Directors
  • Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Board of Trustees
  • Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors
  • Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Board of Directors, starting 2004; company acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2008
  • TechRx, Board of Directors; company acquired by NDCHealth
  • VISICU, Board of Directors, 1998–2008; Chairman of Compensation Committee; member of Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee; company acquired by Phillips Electronics in February 2008
  • National Venture Capital Association, Board of Directors; chairman of its Regulatory and Membership committees
  • Greater Philadelphia Venture Group, Founding director, President and Chairman
  • Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
  • Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation Penn Venture Group, Board of Directors
  • University of Pennsylvania Advisory Panel on Technology Transfer, member


  • Harvard College, B.A. in biology and economics
  • University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, M.B.A.

Frances D. Fergusson, Ph.D.5

67 years old (Oct. 3, 1944)

  • Pfizer, Board of Directors, 2009–present; Chairman, Regulatory & Compliance Committee; Member, Compensation and Science & Technology Committees
  • Mattel, Board of Directors, 2006–present; Chairman, Governance & Social Responsibility Committee; Member, Executive and Finance Committees
  • Vassar College, President Emeritus, 2006–present; President, 1986–2006
  • The J. Paul Getty Trust, Board of Trustees, 2007–present

Past Activity:

  • Wyeth, Board of Directors, 2005–2009; Chairman, Nominating & Governance Committee; Member, Corporate Issues and Science & Technology Committees; company acquired by Pfizer in 2009
  • Mayo Clinic, Emeritus Public Trustee; Chairman, Board of Trustees 1998–2002; Board of Trustees, 1988–2002
  • New York Commission in Independent Colleges and Universities, Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, 2002–2005
  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Board of Directors
  • Harvard University, President, Board of Overseers, 2007–2008; member, 2002–2008
  • HSBC Bank USA, Board of Directors, 2000–2008; Chairman, Human Resources & Compensation Committee; Member, Nominating & Governance and Executive Committees; Member, 1990–1995
  • Fort Dodge Animal Health, Board of Directors; company assets acquired by Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim in 2009
  • The Ford Foundation, Board of Trustees, 1989–2001
  • CH Energy Group, Board of Directors, 1993–2002
  • Patriot League, Founding Chair, policy committee
  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Board of Directors
  • Isamu Noguchi Foundation, Board of Trustees
  • WNET/Thirteen, Board of Trustees
  • The School of American Ballet, Board of Trustees
  • Second Stage Theatre
  • National Humanities Council, Board of Trustees
  • Society of Architectural Historians of the United States
  • Foreign Policy Association, Board of Directors
  • Historic Hudson, 1990–1999
  • United Way of Dutchess County, Board of Directors
  • Bucknell University, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, 1982–1986; member, Bucknell University Press Editorial Board
  • University of Massachusetts, Assistant Chancellor, 1980–1982; Associate Professor of art at UMass Boston, 1975–1980
  • Newton College, Chairman, Art Department; assistant professor of art, 1969


  • Wellesley College, B.A. in art history, 1965
  • Harvard University, Ph.D. in art history, 1973; M.A. in art history, 1966

Phillip Frost, M.D.6

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.7

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 8

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.9

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.10

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

1 Broad Institute:
Salk Institute:
Cardinal Partners:
5 Business Week:
6 Business Week:
7 Healing Our Village:
8 Warburg Pincus:,employeeid,72.aspx
9 Roche website:
10 Ceregene:

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