2024 Transformational Leadership Award N. Anthony Coles, MD'86, MPH

N. Anthony Coles, MD’86, MPH, has served since 2018 as chair of the board of directors for Cerevel Therapeutics, a company dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of the brain to treat neurological diseases. He was CEO of Cerevel from September 2019 to June 2023.

Coles is a pioneering leader who has founded and led important pharmaceutical and biotech companies that aim to improve the lives of millions.

“Dr. Coles’ impact has been transformational across civic life. He has served as an independent trustee and director of organizations at the heart of American innovation.”
-Nomination letter

He co-founded and served as chair and CEO of Yumanity Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on transforming drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases. He is chair and CEO of TRATE Enterprises, a privately-held company, and has held leadership positions at top global pharmaceutical companies, including serving as president, CEO, and chair of the board of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; president, CEO, and member of the board of directors at NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and senior vice president of commercial operations at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Earlier, he held executive positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co, Inc. He is a former director of CRISPR Therapeutics AG; Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings; Campus Crest Communities, Inc.; and McKesson Corporation.

Coles currently serves on the board of directors of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is the council chair for the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and a member of the board of directors on the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the co-founder and co-chairman of the Black Economic Alliance. He has served on the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2022.

Education: Johns Hopkins; Duke University School of Medicine; Harvard University

Training: Massachusetts General Hospital; Harvard Medical School

Primary Title: Chair, Board of Directors, Cerevel Therapeutics

Story originally published in DukeMed Alumni News, Spring 2024.

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