Dr. Hughes has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development. Dr. Hughes joined Zafgen in 2008 as president, chief executive officer and a member of the company’s board of directors. From 1987 to 2008, Dr. Hughes held several positions at Novartis AG (and formerly Sandoz Pharmaceuticals) including vice president and global head of the cardiovascular and metabolic diseases therapeutic area at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA. In these roles he oversaw many drug discovery and development projects targeting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. As a scientist, Dr. Hughes led Novartis’ efforts to discover and develop its dipeptidylpeptidase IV inhibitor vildagliptin (Galvus®/Eucreas®), a drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, currently approved in 70 countries. Dr. Hughes is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on numerous issued and pending patents related to the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Dr. Hughes also serves as a director on the board of Miragen Therapeutics, Inc., and is a member of several scientific and strategic advisory boards, including Broadview Ventures and Nimbus Discovery, LLC.