MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1987

Eric Lander

Geneticist and Mathematician

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Age: 30 at time of award

Published July 1, 1987

Eric Lander is a geneticist who draws from the disciplines of molecular biology, mathematics, and computer science to uncover the fundamental principles of genome organization and function.

Lander has been a driving force in developing complete genetic and physical maps of the human and mouse genomes, providing an essential tool for exploring the regulation of individual genes and their interactions.  He extends this research by characterizing the most common sources of genetic variation among individuals.  With these data, Lander has been able to identify heritable factors that predispose people to particular diseases, both rare and common (e.g., adult-onset diabetes and certain cancers).  His research opens new avenues for addressing key questions in cell physiology, evolutionary biology, and molecular medicine.

Lander is a founder and director of the Broad Institute, a research collaboration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.  He is also a director of the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research, a member of the Whitehead Institute, and a professor of biology at MIT.  Originally trained in mathematics, Lander has also applied his expertise to managerial economics, and previously served as an associate professor at the Harvard Business School (1981-1990).

Lander received a B.A. (1978) from Princeton University and a D.Phil. (1981) from the University of Oxford.

Last updated January 1, 2005

Eric Lander In the Media

"Fix the Flaws in Forensic Science"

The New York Times
Eric Lander , 1987 MacArthur Fellow
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"Private Money Pays Off for Medicine"

The Wall Street Journal
Eric Lander , 1987 MacArthur Fellow
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"When Will Genomics Cure Cancer?"

The Atlantic
Eric Lander , 1987 MacArthur Fellow
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"Power in Numbers"

The New York Times
Eric Lander , 1987 MacArthur Fellow
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About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Journalist

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