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Leadership

Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D.

Chairman, President and CEO

Dr. Leiden is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He received his B.A., M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. He is a physician and scientist who, for the last 30 years, has dedicated his career to improving the lives of people with serious diseases. His experience spans all aspects of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.  

He began his career in academia as a molecular biologist and practicing cardiologist. From 1987 to 2000, Dr. Leiden held several academic and hospital appointments, including roles as Chief of Cardiology at the University of Chicago, the Elkan R. Blout Professor of Biological Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. During his academic career, he was also involved in starting several biotechnology companies including Vical and Cardiogene.

From 2000 to 2006, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at Abbott Laboratories where he had responsibility for running Abbott’s global pharmaceuticals business. While at Abbott, Dr. Leiden led the development and launch of multiple breakthrough medicines, including HUMIRA® (adalimumab) for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and KALETRA® (lopinavir/ritonavir) for HIV infection.

He also held a number of industry board positions, including as a director of Abbott Laboratories and TAP, non-executive Vice Chairman of Shire Pharmaceuticals Plc and director of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.   From 2006 to 2011, he was a Managing Director of Clarus Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm. There he was dedicated to developing new treatments through the creation of innovative biotech companies.

Dr. Leiden has served as a member of Vertex’s board of directors since 2009 and as Chairman and CEO since 2012. Under his leadership, Vertex has delivered the first and only precision medicines to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF). It is his mission and the basis of the company’s research priorities to bring transformative medicines to people with CF and other serious diseases. During his first year as CEO, Dr. Leiden also established a signature program to enhance STEM education among Boston high school students with a 3-year, $1.5 million commitment to the Boston Public Schools.

In addition to his responsibilities at Vertex, Dr. Leiden is currently a director of both Quest Diagnostics and the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Leiden also serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, the board of fellows of Harvard Medical School, the board of directors of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Private Industry Council and as co-chair of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s STEM Advisory Council. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.