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Keith Gottesdiener, M.D.


Keith Gottesdiener, M.D. has served as a member of our Board of Directors since July 2016. Since October 2011, Dr. Gottesdiener has been the Chief Executive Officer and a director of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Gottesdiener joined Rhythm after 16 years at Merck Research Laboratories, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as a leader of Merck’s late clinical development organization from 2006 to 2011 and leading Merck’s early clinical development across all therapeutic areas from 2001 through early 2006. In such roles, Dr. Gottesdiener oversaw the development of Merck’s infectious diseases and vaccine products through pivotal trials, registration, and life cycle management, including GardasilTM (HPV Vaccine), RotateqTM (rotavirus vaccine), ZostavaxTM (zoster vaccine) and IsentressTM (HIV integrase inhibitor), among others. In 2008, Dr. Gottesdiener was appointed Late Stage Therapeutic Group Leader, and in that role led Merck’s late-stage clinical development efforts (from Phase 2 through patent expiry) across all therapeutic areas. After Merck’s merger with Schering-Plough Corporation in 2009, he continued as Co-Head of Late Development. Dr. Gottesdiener received his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency and fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Beth Israel Medical Center-Dana Farber Cancer Institute Children’s Hospital programs. After his fellowship, Dr. Gottesdiener did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Jack Strominger at Dana Farber Cancer Institute working on the molecular immunology of the T-cell receptor. In 1986, he joined the faculty as an assistant professor at Columbia University, started an independent research laboratory with NIH RO-1 funding, focusing on gene transcription, and was Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the time he left to join Merck in 1995.