Mark Murcko, Ph.D.


In college, Mark once played the arcade game “Battlezone” for 3.5 hours on a single quarter and won enough bar bets to last an entire semester.

Mark Murcko has directly contributed to nine marketed drugs and several additional molecules currently in mid- to late-stage clinical trials. He is currently a board member and interim chief scientific officer at Dewpoint Therapeutics. In addition, Mark is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, and has served on numerous scientific advisory boards and corporate boards of directors for a diverse range of organizations.

Until November 2011, Mark was chief technology officer and chair of the scientific advisory board of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, responsible for the identification, validation and implementation of disruptive technologies across R&D. Mark is a co-inventor of the HCV protease inhibitor Incivek (telaprevir), as well as Agenerase (amprenavir) and Lexiva (fosamprenavir), Vertex’s two marketed drugs for the treatment of HIV. In addition, he guided and championed the early efforts of Vertex’s cystic fibrosis program that has produced four marketed drugs, Kalydeco (ivacaftor), Orkambi (lumacaftor / ivacaftor), Symdeco (tezacaftor / ivacaftor), and Trikafta (elexacaftor / tezzacaftor / ivacaftor). He is a co-inventor of eight other clinical candidates in the areas of cancer, inflammation/immunology and infectious disease, and was responsible for starting many of Vertex’s programs in these and other disease areas. Notably, Mark led the early stages of the Vertex influenza program that led to pimodivir, currently in Phase 3 trials.

Prior to Vertex, Mark worked at Merck Sharpe & Dohme, where he helped discover multiple clinical candidates, including inhibitors of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase for the treatment of glaucoma. One of Merck’s development candidates in this area, dorzolamide, was commercialized in two products, Trusopt and Cosopt. Trusopt was the first marketed drug in pharmaceutical history to result from a structure-based drug design program.

Mark is a member of the board of trustees of the GRC and the board of advisors of the Boston Museum of Science. He is a co-inventor on more than 50 issued and pending patents, has delivered more than 230 invited lectures, and has co-authored more than 85 scientific articles.

Mark holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Yale University.