Executive Chairman
Jeffrey Leiden

Jeffrey Leiden,

M.D., Ph.D.

Executive Chairman

Jeff is a physician and scientist who, for the last 40 years, has dedicated his career to improving the lives of people with serious diseases. His experience spans all aspects of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He has served as a member of Vertex’s board of directors since 2009 and was President and CEO from 2012 to 2020. In 2020, he transitioned to his role of Executive Chairman on Vertex’s board of directors. 

He graduated from the University of Chicago with his medical degree and a Ph.D. in virology, and he began his career in academia as a molecular biologist and practicing cardiologist, holding several academic and hospital appointments. Prior to Vertex, he served as President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at Abbott Laboratories and was a managing director of Clarus Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm, from 2006 to 2011.  

In addition to his responsibilities at Vertex, Jeff is currently chairman of Casana, a home health monitoring company, and chairman of Odyssey Therapeutics, a company developing novel medicines for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. He is chairman of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and a director of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. 

Jeff cares deeply about inspiring and equipping under-resourced students and young women to become the next generation of scientific leaders. He established a signature program at Vertex to enhance STEAM education among students in our local communities, including on-site Learning Labs, mentorship programs, internships and college scholarships. In 2017, under his leadership, Vertex announced a sustained corporate giving commitment of $500 million over the next 10 years and established the Vertex Foundation. This commitment includes $50 million focused on STEAM education. 

During his tenure as President and CEO, he received many distinguished honors and awards for his contributions to the biomedical innovation ecosystem, STEAM education and Vertex’s advances in cystic fibrosis research, including: 

  • Lifetime Achievement in Biopharma (Forbes, 2020) 
  • Biopharma CEO of the Year (STAT News, 2018) 
  • New Englander of the Year (New England Council, 2018) 
  • 100 Most Influential People in Boston (Boston magazine, 2018 and 2020) 
  • Academy of Distinguished Bostonians (Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, 2018) 
  • EY Entrepreneur of the Year®, New England Region (Ernst & Young, 2017) 

Jeff is a physician and scientist who, for the last 40 years, has dedicated his career to improving the lives of people with serious diseases. His experience spans all aspects of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He has served as a member of Vertex’s board of directors since 2009 and was President and CEO from 2012 to 2020. In 2020, he transitioned to his role of Executive Chairman on Vertex’s board of directors. 

He graduated from the University of Chicago with his medical degree and a Ph.D. in virology, and he began his career in academia as a molecular biologist and practicing cardiologist, holding several academic and hospital appointments. Prior to Vertex, he served as President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at Abbott Laboratories and was a managing director of Clarus Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm, from 2006 to 2011.  

In addition to his responsibilities at Vertex, Jeff is currently chairman of Casana, a home health monitoring company, and chairman of Odyssey Therapeutics, a company developing novel medicines for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. He is chairman of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and a director of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. 

Jeff cares deeply about inspiring and equipping under-resourced students and young women to become the next generation of scientific leaders. He established a signature program at Vertex to enhance STEAM education among students in our local communities, including on-site Learning Labs, mentorship programs, internships and college scholarships. In 2017, under his leadership, Vertex announced a sustained corporate giving commitment of $500 million over the next 10 years and established the Vertex Foundation. This commitment includes $50 million focused on STEAM education. 

During his tenure as President and CEO, he received many distinguished honors and awards for his contributions to the biomedical innovation ecosystem, STEAM education and Vertex’s advances in cystic fibrosis research, including: 

  • Lifetime Achievement in Biopharma (Forbes, 2020) 
  • Biopharma CEO of the Year (STAT News, 2018) 
  • New Englander of the Year (New England Council, 2018) 
  • 100 Most Influential People in Boston (Boston magazine, 2018 and 2020) 
  • Academy of Distinguished Bostonians (Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, 2018) 
  • EY Entrepreneur of the Year®, New England Region (Ernst & Young, 2017)