MacArthur Fellows Program

Richard Mulligan

Molecular Biologist | Class of December 1981

Molecular Biologist
Cambridge, Massachusetts
27 at time of award
Published December 1, 1981

About Richard's Work

Richard Mulligan is a molecular biologist who works in the area of mammalian gene transfer and gene therapy.

Mulligan is working on techniques to use viruses for gene therapy on humans with genetic disorders.  He studies the functional properties of the human hematopoietic stem cell, a pluripotent cell which serves to replenish blood cells over the lifetime of an organism, with the aim of developing methods for the efficient genetic modification of stem cells.  His laboratory focuses both on the treatment of inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anemia, and acquired diseases, such as AIDS and cancer. 


Mulligan is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Genetics at Harvard University’s Medical School, the director of gene therapy at Children’s Hospital, the associate director of the Harvard Institute of Human Genetics, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  He is also a professor of molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a visiting professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine.  He serves on the editorial boards of Human Gene Therapy, Gene Therapy, and Somatic Cell and Molecular Genetics

Mulligan received a B.S. (1976) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. (1980) from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Richard Mulligan
August 6, 2013
"How to Cure a Bubble Boy"
The Atlantic
Richard Mulligan , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
April 24, 1990
"Cultures in Conflict: M.D.'s and Ph.D.'s"
The New York Times
Richard Mulligan , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
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