Eric S. Lander

Eric S. Lander

Professor of Biology; Professor of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School; Founding Director, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Eric S. Lander is interested in every aspect of the human genome and its application to medicine.





Nicole Brellenthin



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, 1981, Oxford University
  • AB, 1978, Mathematics, Princeton University

Research Summary

Following the successful completion of the Human Genome Project, the challenge now is to decipher the information encoded within the human genetic code — including genes, regulatory controls and cellular circuitry. Such understanding is fundamental to the study of physiology in both health and disease. At the Broad Institute, my lab collaborates with other to discover and understand the genes responsible for rare genetic diseases, common diseases, and cancer; the genetic variation and evolution of the human genome; the basis of gene regulation via enhancers, long non-coding RNAs, and three-dimensional folding of the genome; the developmental trajectories of cellular differentiation; and the history of the human population.


  • William Allan Award, American Society of Human Genetics, 2018
  • James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, MIT, 2016
  • Block Memorial Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, Ohio State University, 2013
  • AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, 2015
  • Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, 2013
  • Harvey Prize for Human Health, Technion University, Israel, 2012
  • Dan David Prize, 2012
  • Albany Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, Albany Medical College, 2010
  • Gairdner Foundation International Award, Canada, 2002
  • Max Delbruck Medal, Berlin, 2001
  • MacArthur Foundation, MacArthur Fellowship, 1987

Key Publications

  1. Genetic screens in human cells using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Wang, T, Wei, JJ, Sabatini, DM, Lander, ES. 2014. Science 343, 80-4.
    doi: 10.1126/science.1246981PMID:24336569
  2. Comprehensive mapping of long-range interactions reveals folding principles of the human genome. Lieberman-Aiden, E, van Berkum, NL, Williams, L, Imakaev, M, Ragoczy, T, Telling, A, Amit, I, Lajoie, BR, Sabo, PJ, Dorschner, MO et al.. 2009. Science 326, 289-93.
    doi: 10.1126/science.1181369PMID:19815776
  3. Initial sequencing and comparative analysis of the mouse genome. Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium, Waterston, RH, Lindblad-Toh, K, Birney, E, Rogers, J, Abril, JF, Agarwal, P, Agarwala, R, Ainscough, R, Alexandersson, M et al.. 2002. Nature 420, 520-62.
    doi: 10.1038/nature01262PMID:12466850
  4. High-resolution haplotype structure in the human genome. Daly, MJ, Rioux, JD, Schaffner, SF, Hudson, TJ, Lander, ES. 2001. Nat Genet 29, 229-32.
    doi: 10.1038/ng1001-229PMID:11586305
  5. Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome. Lander, ES, Linton, LM, Birren, B, Nusbaum, C, Zody, MC, Baldwin, J, Devon, K, Dewar, K, Doyle, M, FitzHugh, W et al.. 2001. Nature 409, 860-921.
    doi: 10.1038/35057062PMID:11237011

Recent Publications

  1. Mapping and characterization of structural variation in 17,795 human genomes. Abel, HJ, Larson, DE, Regier, AA, Chiang, C, Das, I, Kanchi, KL, Layer, RM, Neale, BM, Salerno, WJ, Reeves, C et al.. 2020. Nature 583, 83-89.
    doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2371-0PMID:32460305
  2. Towards a treatment for genetic prion disease: trials and biomarkers. Vallabh, SM, Minikel, EV, Schreiber, SL, Lander, ES. 2020. Lancet Neurol 19, 361-368.
    doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30403-XPMID:32199098
  3. Prioritizing disease and trait causal variants at the TNFAIP3 locus using functional and genomic features. Ray, JP, de Boer, CG, Fulco, CP, Lareau, CA, Kanai, M, Ulirsch, JC, Tewhey, R, Ludwig, LS, Reilly, SK, Bergman, DT et al.. 2020. Nat Commun 11, 1237.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15022-4PMID:32144282
  4. The Angiosarcoma Project: enabling genomic and clinical discoveries in a rare cancer through patient-partnered research. Painter, CA, Jain, E, Tomson, BN, Dunphy, M, Stoddard, RE, Thomas, BS, Damon, AL, Shah, S, Kim, D, Gómez Tejeda Zañudo, J et al.. 2020. Nat Med 26, 181-187.
    doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0749-zPMID:32042194
  5. Identification of cancer driver genes based on nucleotide context. Dietlein, F, Weghorn, D, Taylor-Weiner, A, Richters, A, Reardon, B, Liu, D, Lander, ES, Van Allen, EM, Sunyaev, SR. 2020. Nat Genet 52, 208-218.
    doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0572-yPMID:32015527
  6. Control of human hemoglobin switching by LIN28B-mediated regulation of BCL11A translation. Basak, A, Munschauer, M, Lareau, CA, Montbleau, KE, Ulirsch, JC, Hartigan, CR, Schenone, M, Lian, J, Wang, Y, Huang, Y et al.. 2020. Nat Genet 52, 138-145.
    doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0568-7PMID:31959994
  7. Defining the core essential genome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Poulsen, BE, Yang, R, Clatworthy, AE, White, T, Osmulski, SJ, Li, L, Penaranda, C, Lander, ES, Shoresh, N, Hung, DT et al.. 2019. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116, 10072-10080.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1900570116PMID:31036669
  8. Polygenic Prediction of Weight and Obesity Trajectories from Birth to Adulthood. Khera, AV, Chaffin, M, Wade, KH, Zahid, S, Brancale, J, Xia, R, Distefano, M, Senol-Cosar, O, Haas, ME, Bick, A et al.. 2019. Cell 177, 587-596.e9.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.03.028PMID:31002795
  9. 2018 William Allan Award: Discovering the Genes for Common Disease: From Families to Populations. Lander, ES. 2019. Am J Hum Genet 104, 375-383.
    doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.01.016PMID:30849323
  10. Optimal-Transport Analysis of Single-Cell Gene Expression Identifies Developmental Trajectories in Reprogramming. Schiebinger, G, Shu, J, Tabaka, M, Cleary, B, Subramanian, V, Solomon, A, Gould, J, Liu, S, Lin, S, Berube, P et al.. 2019. Cell 176, 928-943.e22.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.01.006PMID:30712874
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Photo credit: Casey Atkins