Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D.

Oncologist and Cancer Researcher
Pulitzer Prize-winning Science Writer

A gifted physician and writer bringing new insights into the causes and cures of cancer.

Add to Shortlist More Information siddharthamukherjee.com

Biography

Siddhartha Mukherjee’s accomplishments as both a physician and author are compelling and powerful.

Dr. Mukherjee's new book The Gene: An Intimate History, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It is a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

Read more Reviews of The Gene.

"Magnificent…. The story [of the gene] has been told, piecemeal, in different ways, but never before with the scope and grandeur that Siddhartha Mukherjee brings to his new history… he views his subject panoptically, from a great and clarifying height, yet also intimately."
— James Gleick, New York Times Book Review

"This is perhaps the greatest detective story ever told — a millennia-long search, led by a thousand explorers, from Aristotle to Mendel to Francis Collins, for the question marks at the center of every living cell."
— Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See

"Mukherjee has done readers an admirable service, by turning one of the most important scientific sagas — arguably the most important — in history into a tale that is too good not to know."
— Ivan Semeniuk, The Globe and Mail

A cancer specialist, Sid has devoted his life to caring for victims of cancer, a disease that sickens and kills millions of people around the world each year. As a researcher, his laboratory is on the forefront of discovering new cancer drugs using innovative biological methods.

Dr. Mukherjee is equally devoted to and effective in communicating the "story" of cancer through his writings. In his engrossing book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Dr. Mukherjee gives readers a fascinating look into the origins and causes of cancer, its deadly effect on the human body, how it has virtually enveloped modern civilization, and the epic battles that are taking place to control, cure, and conquer it.

As he notes, the disease now touches in some way the lives of every man, woman and child in the world, while scientists and physicians work tirelessly to bring new treatments and hope to its victims.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

  • The Guardian First Book Prize 2011
  • 2011 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • 2011 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
  • A New York Times Best Book of 2010
  • An O (Oprah magazine) Top 10 Book of 2010
  • A TIME magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book

"Mukherjee's debut book is a sweeping epic of obsession, brilliant researchers, dramatic new treatments, euphoric success and tragic failure, and the relentless battle by scientists and patients alike against an equally relentless, wily, and elusive enemy."
Publishers Weekly starred review

"An extraordinary achievement." 
The New Yorker

"Mukherjee's profound compassion — for cancer patients, their families, as well as the oncologists who, all too often, can offer little hope — makes this book a very human history of an elusive and complicated disease."
— Amazon.com review

He is also the author of a TED Book titled, The Laws of Medicine. Dr. Mukherjee ponders the question — does medicine have laws like other sciences? This book lays the groundwork for a new way of understanding medicine, now and into the future.

Dr. Mukherjee has been published in Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Neuron, Journal of Clinical Investigation, The New York Times, and The New Republic. His work was nominated for inclusion in Best American Science Writing, 2000.

Sid is an accomplished speaker. His words both on the stage and on the page are powerful, illuminating, and inspiring.

For more on Dr. Mukherjee see his website: siddharthamukherjee.me.

Credentials

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia University
  • Staff Cancer Physician, Columbia/NYU Presbyterian Hospital
  • Fellow, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Attending Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Rhodes Scholar
  • Ph.D, immunology, Oxford University
  • MD, Harvard Medical School
  • BS, Stanford University

Books

The Gene

An Intimate History

Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies — a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

The extraordinary Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family — with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness — cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation — from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Thomas Morgan to Crick, Watson and Rosa Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.

Scribner (May 17, 2016)

Reviews

The history of the study of the geneThe Pharmaceutical Journal
DNA's story rife with contradictions, mutationsWinnipeg Free Press
The Gene: An Intimate HistoryCosmos Magazine
The Gene review: Siddhartha Mukherjee's thought-provoking exploration of scienceThe Sydney Morning Herald
ReviewTimes of India
Master code of LifeThe Asian Age
The Gene: Science's Most Powerful — and Dangerous — IdeaNational Geographic
'The Gene' — Indian Nerve
The Gene: An Intimate History — SchoolsWeek
The GeneTimes Higher Education
Life, the universe ... and geneticsIrish Independent
Promise or PerilThe Free Press Journal
Haystack in a haystack: travels around the human genomeNewStatesman
Six hundred pages that will tell you more about yourself and your future than anything else — Scroll.in
Why genetic science carries the potential for medical miracles — and huge moral dilemmasThe Financial Times
The Question of IdentityThe Indian Express
THE GENEKirkus Starred Review
The GeneGoodreads
The Gene — intriguing and entertainingThe Guardian
Books: The GeneThe Times
The origin of humansThe Hindu
Journeys in a misunderstood worldThe Irish Times
Siddhartha Mukherjee decodes DNA, geneticsThe Chicago Tribune
Science: 'The Gene: An Intimate History'The Dallas Morning News
The Exciting and Terrifying Future of DNA EditingVice
Siddhartha Mukherjee's intimate history of the geneMaclean's
Mix and matchThe Economist
The labour and loss that went into understanding genetics: Read Siddhartha Mukherjee's 'The Gene' — F. Living
'The Gene' wanders into the biological weeds, but it's a place you'll want to goThe Seattle Times
Mukherjee follows cancer best seller with 'The Gene'USAToday
The GeneSan Francisco Chronicle
The Gene is a terrifically engaging bookThe Globe and Mail
The GeneThe New York Times
Genes Are OverratedThe Atlantic
Review: ‘The Gene: An Intimate History’Star Tribune
Siddartha Mukherjee Prepares Us for a Crucial Moment in the History of the GenomeThe Wire
Book ReviewLive Mint
The molecular me, tracing the history of the geneThe Boston Globe
Review: 'The Gene', a Molecular Pursuit of the SelfThe New York Times
'The Gene: An Intimate History'Publishers Weekly

Interviews

In New Book, Siddhartha Mukherjee Details the History of the Gene — Columbia University Medical Center
Siddhartha Mukherjee, Author of Bestselling Cancer Book, Starts Biotech Company And Answers CriticismForbes
Siddhartha Mukherjee Talks about the History of the Human Genome — KCRW
'Genes are personal. They ask the question: why are we like this?'The Guardian
Siddhartha Mukherjee Follows Up Biography of Cancer With "An Intimate History" of GeneticsSmithsonian
Our long and winding road to understanding 'The Gene'PBS Newshour
By the BookThe New York Times
New book explores the promise, perils, and mysteries of human genes — CBS This Morning

Podcasts

Understanding The GeneLive at Politics & Prose
The Book Show — WAMC
Siddhartha Mukherjee talks to David Redneck about GeneticsThe New York
The Power of Genes, And The Line Between Biology And Destiny — NPR Fresh Air
Inside The New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Times

Excerpt

Same But DifferentThe New Yorker
ExtractThe Telegraph
Genome engineering can ‘enhance’ humans. Should it be allowed to? — Scroll.in
My mother and her twin, the genetic tieThe Times of India

Praise

"This is perhaps the greatest detective story ever told — a millennia-long search, led by a thousand explorers, from Aristotle to Mendel to Francis Collins, for the question marks at the center of every living cell. Like The Emperor of All Maladies, The Gene is prodigious, sweeping, and ultimately transcendent. If you’re interested in what it means to be human, today and in the tomorrows to come, you must read this book."
— Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See

"The Gene is a magnificent synthesis of the science of life, and forces all to confront the essence of that science as well as the ethical and philosophical challenges to our conception of what constitutes being human."
— Paul Berg, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Laws of Medicine

Field Notes from an Uncertain Science

Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D.

Essential, required reading for doctors and patients alike: A Pulitzer Prize-winning author and one of the world’s premiere cancer researchers reveals an urgent philosophy on the little-known principles that govern medicine — and how understanding these principles can empower us all.

Over a decade ago, when Siddhartha Mukherjee was a young, exhausted, and isolated medical resident, he discovered a book that would forever change the way he understood the medical profession. The book, The Youngest Science, forced Dr. Mukherjee to ask himself an urgent, fundamental question: Is medicine a “science”? Sciences must have laws — statements of truth based on repeated experiments that describe some universal attribute of nature. But does medicine have laws like other sciences?

Dr. Mukherjee has spent his career pondering this question — a question that would ultimately produce some of most serious thinking he would do around the tenets of his discipline — culminating in The Laws of Medicine. In this important treatise, he investigates the most perplexing and illuminating cases of his career that ultimately led him to identify the three key principles that govern medicine.

Brimming with fascinating historical details and modern medical wonders, this important book is a fascinating glimpse into the struggles and Eureka! moments that people outside of the medical profession rarely see. Written with Dr. Mukherjee’s signature eloquence and passionate prose, The Laws of Medicine is a critical read, not just for those in the medical profession, but for everyone who is moved to better understand how their health and well-being is being treated. Ultimately, this book lays the groundwork for a new way of understanding medicine, now and into the future.

Simon & Schuster/ TED (October 13, 2015)

Video Interview

The Three Laws of MedicineMedscape

Excerpt

The Laws of MedicineLivemint

Review

A New Way of Understanding MedicineOutlook

The Emperor of All Maladies

A Biography of Cancer

Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D.

2011 Pultizer Prize Winner
The Inaugural PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
The 10 Best Books of 2010The New York Times

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer — from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with — and perished from — for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive — and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

Scribner; 1 edition (November 16, 2010)
Scribner; Reprint edition (August 9, 2011)

Reviews

ReviewThe Guardian
All about the book that won the Pultizer PrizeIBN Live
The Emperor of All MaladiesThe Independent
The Mind of a DiseaseThe New York Times
Book on CancerThe Washington Post

Topics

Siddhartha tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

The Cancer Puzzle

Videos

How has modern genetics changed our ideas of chance and fate?

The Gene: Unlocking the Human Code | Intelligence Squared

Understanding The Gene | Live at Politics & Prose

The Gene — Live Talk | Vintage Books

Would post-genomic knowledge change us as human beings?

New book explores the promise, perils, and mysteries of human genes | CBS News

Soon we'll cure diseases with a cell, not a pill | TED 2015

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies | PBS Trailer

The Cancer Puzzle | Pop!Tech

Feedback

A comprehensive center for pediatric health care:
The event was a huge success [and] incredibly well received. Obviously, from the outset there was a great deal of excitement around Dr. Mukherjee and I thought his talk was terrific. Interesting, engaging and this clearly was the right audience for him. All in all, big thumbs up!

A regional health care provider:
The event went wonderfully and Dr. Mukherjee was very well received.

From the physician breakfast: "Because of Dr. Mukherjee, it was a great day for medicine in Asheville..."

From the crowd at the event…we heard nothing but accolades for Dr. Mukherjee’s talk. He has a great way of engaging a crowd to talk about a subject that too many people are unfortunately touched by, in a manner that allows everyone to learn about the history and advances being made in cancer.

Articles

— Financial Times
— Nautilus
— The Varsity
— USAToday
— The Huffington Post
— The New York Times
— The New Yorker
— Cosmos Magazine
— National Geographic
— The Indian Express
— Hindustan Times
— SchoolsWeek
— The Wire
— Scroll.in
— MotherJones
— Livemint
— Smithsonian
— The New York Times
— The New York Times
— The New Yorker
— The Wall Street Journal
— Zee News
— The Indian Express
— Forbes
— Forbes
— The New York Times
— Mother Jones
— Medscape
— The Washington Post
— USAToday
— The American Bazaar
— The New York Times
— MedCity News
— USA Today
— Harvard Gazette
— The Guardian