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Christoph Westphal: Sirtris, CEO


Christoph WestphalChristoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., co-founded Sirtris in 2004 and has since served as Chief Executive Officer.  Under his leadership, Sirtris has become a recognized pioneer in the research and development of small molecule drugs that target the sirtuins, a family of enzymes that control the aging process.

In 2007, Dr. Westphal successfully led the company through its initial public offering, resulting in recognition by the Boston Globe as one of the Globe 100 top IPOs of 2007.  In June 2008, GSK acquired Sirtris for $720 million, and Dr. Westphal continues to lead Sirtris as an independent discovery performance unit within GSK.

Prior to establishing Sirtris, Dr. Westphal co-founded Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY), Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTA) and Acceleron as CEO.  Dr. Westphal was formerly a general partner at a venture fund and a consultant with McKinsey.  He earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University.  He graduated with a B.A. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University.

Dr. Westphal currently serves on the Board of Directors for Alnara Pharmaceuticals, Concert Pharmaceuticals and Magen BioSciences, and he serves on the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Westphal has been the lead or senior author on several patent applications and scientific papers in journals including CellNature and Nature Genetics.

Dr. Westphal has received a number of industry awards, including the 2008 Outstanding Individual of the Year Award at the annual Laguna Biotech Meeting; recognition in the Pharmaceutical Executive “45 Under 45” andPharmaVOICE 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.

Dr. Westphal enjoys traveling (he has visited over 130 countries) and playing the cello.  He is also fluent in English, German, Spanish and French.  Dr. Westphal is married with three young children.


November 21, 2008 Posted by | Biotech, Pharma, Profiles | , , , , | Leave a comment