Richard Lifton is President of The Rockefeller University where he is also head of the laboratory of Human Genetics and Genomics. He graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth, and received MD and PhD degrees from Stanford. He then was Resident and Chief Resident in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and continued on the Harvard Medical School faculty before being recruited to Yale in 1993, where he served as Sterling Professor and Chair of Genetics from 1998 to 2016 before moving to Rockefeller. At Yale he was also Founder and Executive Director of the Yale Center for Genome Analysis.
Dr. Lifton has used human genetics and genomics to identify mutations that identify key genes and pathways underlying hypertension, myocardial infarction, osteoporosis, cerebral hemorrhage, congenital heart disease and neoplasia. His work on hypertension, which affects one billion people worldwide, has demonstrated the key roles of renal salt and potassium handling in blood pressure regulation, leading to new approaches to treatment and prevention that have been applied to the general population world-wide. In 2009 his group developed exome sequencing and performed the first clinical diagnosis by genome-level sequencing.
He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He formerly served on the Governing Councils of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and is currently on the Advisory Council to the NIH Director, the Scientific Advisory Boards of Massachusetts General Hospital, the Whitehead Institute, the Broad Institute, the Simons Foundation for Autism Research, and the Board of Directors of Roche and Genentech. He recently served as Co-Chair of the Planning Committee for the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative. He has received the highest scientific awards of the American Heart Association, the American Society of Nephrology, the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, the American Society of Hypertension, the International Society of Hypertension, and the International Society of Nephrology. He received the 2008 Wiley Prize for Biomedical Sciences and the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.