Dr. Noubar Afeyan is founder, Senior Managing Partner and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, a leading early-stage venture capital firm. He also leads the firm's VentureLabs unit that invents and launches transformative startups. He is a Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he has taught courses on technology-entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership since 2000. Dr. Afeyan has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from MIT in 1987. He lectures widely in the United States and internationally on diverse topics ranging from entrepreneurship, innovation and venture capital to biological engineering, drug discovery, medical technologies and renewable energy.
During his 25-year career as inventor, entrepreneur, CEO and venture capitalist, Dr. Afeyan has co-founded and helped build 30 successful life science and technology startups. He was founder and CEO of PerSeptive Biosystems, a leader in the bio-instrumentation field that grew to over $100 million in annual sales within six years from its first sales. After PerSeptive's acquisition by Perkin Elmer/Applera Corporation in 1998, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Applera, where he initiated and oversaw the creation of Celera Genomics.
Currently, Dr. Afeyan serves on a number of public and private company boards including BG Medicine, Joule Unlimited, Moderna Therapeutics, Axcella and Seres Therapeutics. Previously, he was a member of the founding team, director and investor in several highly successful ventures, including Chemgenics Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals), Color Kinetics (acquired by Philips), Adnexus Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Affinnova (acquired by Nielsen).
Dr. Afeyan received a Technology Pioneer 2012 award from the World Economic Forum in recognition of the breakthrough solar fuel technology being developed at Joule Unlimited. He currently serves as Chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Chemicals, Advanced Materials and Biotechnology of the World Economic Forum as well as a member of the Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies. He is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he serves on the board of AmeriaBank and of UWC Dilijan International School, both of Armenia. Previously, he was a co-founder and board member of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia, a private-public partnership dedicated to promoting economic development in the former Soviet Republic of Armenia. In 2008 he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award granted to outstanding Americans who have distinguished themselves as United States citizens and who have enabled their ancestry groups to maintain their identities while becoming integral parts of American life.