From October 2011 until March 2020, Dr. Gottesdiener served as the CEO of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals (RYTM). Dr. Gottesdiener joined Rhythm after 16 years at Merck Research Laboratories, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including leading Merck’s late clinical development organization from 2006 to 2011 and leading Merck’s early clinical development from 2001 through early 2006. 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.
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, focusing on gene transcription, and was Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine when he left to join Merck.