Campus & Community

Time names Lander one of world’s most influential people

2 min read

In the April 26 special issue of Time magazine, Professor of Systems

Eric Lander

Biology Eric Lander, founder and director of the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute, is featured as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Lander is cited as the visionary behind the creation of the Broad (rhymes with code), harnessing the talent of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), Harvard and its hospitals, and the Whitehead Institute to tackle the big questions facing biomedical science today.

Time noted that Lander, who is also a professor of biology at M.I.T., and his colleagues played a key role in the sequencing of the human genome. Lander is now “leading the effort to use the new genetic tools to find treatments for ancient human diseases,” noted the magazine.

The article – titled “Unraveling the Threads of Life” – also highlights some of Lander’s earlier achievements, from “brainy” Stuyvesant High School in New York City, where he graduated valedictorian, to Princeton, where he finished first in his class, to Oxford, where he earned a Ph.D. in math as a Rhodes Scholar.

Time notes that Lander’s fascination with DNA began while teaching economics at Harvard. “Suddenly it was clear to me that all the beautiful complexity of life had simplicity at its core,” he says. “This is the kind of thing mathematicians love.”

The Broad Institute was catalyzed in summer 2003 by a founding gift of $100 million by philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad. Located in Cambridge, the institute’s mission is to propel research into the entire set of human genes, and to apply the findings to understanding, preventing, and treating human disease.