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Eric Lander is founding director of the Broad Institute and director of its Genome Biology Program. As one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, Eric and colleagues are using these findings to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the basis of human disease.
Over the past 15 years, Eric and colleagues have developed many of the key tools and generated many of the key information resources of modern mammalian genomics. They have also applied these tools and data to pioneer new ways to understand the basis of disease. Their work includes mapping and sequencing of the human, mouse and other genomes; understanding the functional elements encoded in genomes through comparative analysis; understanding the genetic variation in the human population and its relationship to disease susceptibility; understanding the distinctive cellular signatures of diseases and of response to drugs; and understanding the mutations underlying cancer. They have also developed new analytical and laboratory techniques for genomics that have been applied to a wide range of common diseases, including cancer, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and many other genetic illnesses.
A recipient of numerous honors and awards, Eric has been appointed by President Barack Obama to co-chair the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is a professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. In 1990, he founded the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research. This Center became part of the newly founded Broad Institute in 2003.
Eric earned his B.A. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1978 and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Oxford University in 1981 as a Rhodes Scholar. He was an assistant and associate professor of managerial economics at the Harvard Business School from 1981-1990.