Billion Dollar Molecule is one of the most gripping accounts of biological discovery I have encountered. Werth's appreciates the emotional gravity of otherwise invisible, molecular scale events in a manner that resonates with my personal experience at the bench and the terminal. Not only does he recount the daily challenges of life in an early discovery program, but Werth manages to appreciate the broader sociological conflicts within the life sciences that too often pit practitioners of sub-disciplines against one another. When friends ask why I love the practice of science, I point them to this book.

In addition to the gripping recount of discovery, Werth provides an insider's view of how one of biotech's new titans was built. Vertex's journey from their initial vision for FK506 mimics to their ultimately life-changing products for cystic fibrosis patients highlights the uncertainty of scientific plans and the necessity of building of integrated scientific team.