Joshua Boger, Ph.D.

Joshua Boger, Ph.D.

Executive Chairman, Alkeus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Founder and CEO (Former), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

Dr. Joshua Boger is the Executive Chairman of Alkeus Pharmaceuticals, a private biotech company bringing through development a novel, oral therapy for intractable eye diseases. He was the Founder of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) and retired as Vertex’s Chief Executive Officer in May 2009, after over 20-years with the company. He continued to serve on the Vertex Board and Chaired its Science & Technology Committee, stepping off the board in June 2017, after more than 28 years. Prior to founding Vertex in 1989, Dr. Boger was Senior Director of Basic Chemistry at Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories in Rahway, N.J., where he headed both the Departments of Biophysical Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry of Immunology & Inflammation. During his ten years at Merck, Dr. Boger developed an international reputation in the application of computer modeling to the chemistry of drug design and was a pioneer in the use of structure-based rational drug design as the basis for drug discovery programs.

Dr. Boger holds a bachelor-of-arts degree in Chemistry and Philosophy from Wesleyan University (Connecticut) and a master's and doctorate degrees in Chemistry from Harvard University. His postdoctoral research in molecular recognition was performed in the laboratories of the Nobel-prize winning chemist, Jean-Marie Lehn in Strasbourg, France. He is the author of over 50 scientific publications, holds 32 issued U.S. patents in pharmaceutical discovery and development, and has delivered over 120 invited lectures, in the United States, in Europe and in Asia, on various aspects of drug discovery and development. He was named one of forty “Technology Pioneers” worldwide for the 2003 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He was named in 2009 to the Biotech Hall of Fame, received in 2012 the Chemical Heritage Foundation & BIO 13th Annual Biotechnology Heritage Award, was given an All-Stars Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 from the Boston Business Journal, and, in 2018, received the Othmer Gold medal - their highest award - from the Science History Institute and a Doctor of Science honorary degree from Wesleyan University. He received the Distinguished Community Leadership Award in 2009 from the Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action (JALSA), the Heroes in Health Award in 2012 from the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus’ Good Guys Award in 2015, and the Colonel Francis T. Colby Award from the Boston Museum of Science in 2023. 

Dr. Boger is Chair of the Board of the Celebrity Series (Boston’s premier performing arts presenter). He serves on several additional non-profit Boards, including the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School (where he is Chair Emeritus), the Science Advisory Council of WGBH (public broadcasting’s leading station, Boston), and the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee to the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES). He served for over ten years as Vice-Chair of Boston’s Museum of Science and continues as a Trustee Emeritus. He is a former member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, co-founded and served for fifteen years as Vice-Chair of the Alliance for Business leadership (a Boston-based, non-partisan coalition of progressive business leaders), served on the boards of the Hastings Center for Bioethics (the world’s oldest independent bioethics research institute, Garrison, NY) and the Whitehead Institute (Cambridge, MA), was a founding Director of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (the quasi-public overseer of a $1Billion state-funded development initiative), was a Trustee and Chair of the Board of Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), chaired the Harvard Medical School’s $750M Campaign for Harvard Medicine, was founding Chair of the Board of MassChallenge (the world’s largest startup business incubator), and, while a member of the Board of the ACLU of Massachusetts Foundation, where he co-founded their ongoing Technology for Liberty and Justice for All Projects.

He is married to Amy Boger, M.D., F.A.A.P., a professional ceramic artist, and they have three sons. Dr. Boger is an expert scuba diver & a professional underwater photographer, a competition-licensed formula racecar driver and a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. He served as one of the [secret] judges for the weekly New Yorker cartoon contest in the Bob Mankoff era. On 26 April 2007 he flew onboard the historic zero-gravity flight with Professor Stephen Hawking.