This week, our featured physician executive is Cristoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D.
Founder and Partner, Longwood Founders Fund
Dr. Westphal founded Longwood Founders Fund, a venture capital fund based in Boston, and serves as General Partner.
In addition to these roles, Dr. Westphal is the Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Sirtris, which he co-founded in 2004 and led as Chief Executive Officer until 2010. Under his leadership, Sirtris established itself as a recognized pioneer in the research and development of drugs targeting the aging process enzymes. In 2007, Dr. Westphal successfully guided the company through its initial public offering, resulting in recognition by the Boston Globe as one of the Globe 100 top companies of 2007. In June 2008, GSK acquired Sirtris for $720 million.
Dr. Westphal was previously co-founder and CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Acceleron Pharma. He also co-founded Alnara, which was sold to Eli Lilly for $380M in 2010. Prior to establishing Sirtris, Dr. Westphal was a general partner at a venture fund and a consultant with McKinsey & Company. He earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University; and he graduated with a B.A. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University.
Dr. Westphal currently serves on the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School and the Board of Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has been the lead or senior author on several patent applications and scientific papers in journals, including Cell, Nature and Nature Genetics.
Dr. Westphal has received national recognition and a number of industry awards, including being named one of Fortune’s eight “Fortune Visionaries” in 2010; a Stevie Award for Executive of the Year from The 2009 American Business Awards; the 2009 E-3 Public Company Science & Technology Company Executive Award; 2008 Outstanding Individual of the Year Award at the annual Laguna Biotech CEO Meeting; 2008 Corporate Leader Award of Distinction from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR); recognition in the Pharmaceutical Executive “45 Under 45” and PharmaVOICE 100 issues, both in 2008; Mass High Tech All Star Award in 2007; and Ernst & Young’s New England Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Biopharmaceutical category in 2006.
In addition to being interviewed for numerous high-profile articles and broadcast segments, Dr. Westphal has been featured on 60 Minutes with Morley Safer, CNN’s Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an ABC News Special hosted by Barbara Walters, and as the subject of a Fortune cover article. Dr. Westphal is also featured in two books – “Mastering the VC Game” by Jeff Bussgang and “The Youth Pill” by David Stipp.