Tom Maniatis, PhD


Isidore S. Edelman Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University Medical Center

Director, University-Wide Precision Medicine Initiative


Daniel O'DayPlease find the slides from Dr. Maniatis' keynote posted here.


Dr. Tom Maniatis is the Isidore S. Edelman Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular  Biophysics at the Columbia University Medical Center, and the Director of the University-wide Precision Medicine  Initiative. He received his B.A. and MS. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder in chemistry and  biology, and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University.  After postdoctoral studies at Harvard  University and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, Dr. Maniatis was a Professor of  Biology at the California Institute of Technology and a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University prior to joining Columbia.

Dr. Maniatis is known for pioneering the development of gene cloning technology and its application to both basic research and biotechnology. His research has impacted a broad spectrum of biomedical fields, from basic mechanisms of gene regulation, to human genetics and inflammatory diseases. He also coauthored the definitive laboratory manual on Molecular Cloning, which was instrumental in the wide dissemination of DNA cloning methods internationally for over 30 years.   Dr. Maniatis’ laboratory is currently focused on molecular neuroscience, with interests in the role single cell diversity in brain wiring, and disease mechanisms in the neurodegenerative disease ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). In 2012 he received the The Jacob F. Javits Lifetime Achievement Award from the ALS Association.

Dr. Maniatis’ research has been recognized by many awards, including the Eli Lilly Award in Microbiology and Immunology, The Richard Lounsbery Award for Biology and Medicine (Awarded by the French and U.S National Academy of Sciences), and the 2012 Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, the U.S. Academy of Medicine, and a fellow the the U.S. Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Maniatis is also a pioneer in the biotechnology industry, co-founding Genetics Institute in 1980, which pioneered the development of FDA-approved recombinant therapeutic proteins, ProScript, where the  cancer drug Velcade was invented, and Acceleron, which develops recombinant proteins for the treatment of cancer and musculoskeletal diseases. Recently Dr. Maniatis cofounded  “Kallyope”, a New York city-based gut/brain axis company along with Charles Zuker and Richard Axel of Columbia.  


Precision Medicine Initiative at Columbia University

Dr. Maniatis has been deeply involved in advancing the application of genomic technologies to medicine with the cofounding of the New York Genomic Center in 2011, and more recently was appointed Director of the Precision Medicine Initiative at Columbia University, which is a University-wide initiative founded and led by Lee Bollinger. Although simple in concept: tailoring clinical care on the bases of ones personal genome sequence, in practice the fulfillment of this vision requires a multidisciplinary effort spanning the spectrum of intellectual disciplines at Columbia, ranging from fundamental basic research in the basic and applied sciences, to education of the next generation of physicians, to the ethics, law, and economics of health care delivery in the new paradigm. Explicit recognition of the complexity and magnitude of this challenge is what distinguishes the Columbia initiative in precision medicine from those of other institutions. Columbia has committed the full power of its diverse and highly talented faculty across many disciplines to focus on developing precision medicine.