Richard P. Lifton

Dr. Richard P. Lifton is the 11th President of The Rockefeller University, where he is also Carson Family Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Human Genetics and Genomics.  He has pioneered the use of genetics and genomics to understand fundamental mechanisms underlying human diseases.  He is well-known for his discovery that mutations with large effect on human blood pressure act by altering renal salt reabsorption and discoveries that have informed public health efforts and therapeutic strategies used worldwide to prevent heart attacks and strokes, and for his development of exome sequencing for clinical diagnosis and disease gene discovery, which has resulted in dramatic advances linking gene mutations to human disease, identifying new therapeutic  targets for numerous diseases. Lifton graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, obtained M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University and completed training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Prior to Rockefeller, he was on the faculty at Yale School of Medicine for 23 years, where he was Sterling Professor and chair of the Department of Genetics and founder of the Yale Center for Genome Analysis.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on the governing councils of the former two organizations. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Simons Foundation for Autism Research, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative Biohub, and the JPB Foundation. He is a Director of Roche and its subsidiary Genentech. He has previously served on the Advisory Council to the NIH Director, the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Whitehead Institute and the Broad Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served as co-chair of the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Germline Genome Editing, chair of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine Joint Governance Committee for the Reorganization of the National Academies, and as co-chair of the White House/National Institutes of Health Precision Medicine Working Group, which developed the scientific plan for the million person All of Us initiative. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the 2008 Wiley Prize, and the highest scientific awards of the American Heart Association, the American Society of Nephrology, the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, the International Society for Nephrology and the International Society for Hypertension. He has received honorary doctorates from Northwestern University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Yale University.