Founding Member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Professor of Biology and Professor of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Lodish received his A.B. degree Summa Cum Laude and with Highest Honors in Chemistry and Highest Honors in Mathematics from Kenyon College in 1962, and his Ph.D. degree in genetics with Dr. Norton Zinder from the Rockefeller University in 1966. Following two years of postdoctoral research at the M.R.C. Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, with Drs. Sydney Brenner and Francis Crick, he joined the faculty of the MIT Department of Biology. He was promoted to Professor in 1976, and in 1983 was appointed Founding Member of the new Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. In 1999 he also became Professor of Biological Engineering in the new MIT Department of Biological Engineering.

Among the over 200 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows Dr. Lodish mentored, 58 were women. Of these women, 23 had one or more small children (two had three) while in his laboratory and many had children after they left. All have gone on to very successful careers, mostly in academia, where many have achieved senior leadership positions.

Two of his students received the Nobel Prize and ten have been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and/or the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Lodish received the 2010 Mentoring Award from the American Society of Hematology. In 2017 he was given the WICB Sandra K. Masur Senior Leadership Mentoring Award from the American Society for Cell Biology – only the third male to receive this award in its 36 year history.

Dr. Lodish is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and served as Chair of the National Academy Section on Cellular and Developmental Biology. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, an Associate (Foreign) Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium.

Dr. Lodish received a MERIT award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He is also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

He received the 2016 Pioneer Award from the Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation, and the Metcalf Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Experimental Hematology in 2020. In 2021 he received the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology from the American Society of Hematology.

He is the recipient of honorary Doctorate of Science degrees from Kenyon College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Lodish was on the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from 1995 to 1999 and on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science from 1991 through 1999. He was Editor of Molecular and Cellular Biology from 1981 to 1987 and he has been on the editorial boards of a number of other journals, including the Journal of Cell Biology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Nucleic Acids Research.

Dr. Lodish is the lead author of the textbook Molecular Cell Biology. The ninth edition was published in January 2021 and the book has been translated into 13 languages.

Dr. Lodish has served on advisory panels for the U.S. National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation and the American Cancer Society. He was Chair of the Advisory Board of the Division of Basic Sciences of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and of the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic. He served on the advisory boards of several other institutions, including the Biozentrum of the University of Basle, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, the Center for Molecular Biology Heidelberg (ZMBH) in Germany, the California Institute of Technology Division of Biology, the Life Sciences Institute of the University of Michigan, and the PEW Scholars Program in Biomedical Sciences. He is currently on the Advisory Boards of the Chinese Organization for Rare Disorders and the Lausanne RE(ACT) Discovery Institute for rare diseases.

From 1989 through 2007 Dr. Lodish was a member of the Board of Trustees of Kenyon College, and currently is an Emeritus Trustee. Since 2006 Dr. Lodish has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Children’s Hospital, Boston, where from 2007 to 2019 he served as Chair of the Board of Trustees Research Committee.

From 2006 to 2016 he served as Founding Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the group charged with oversight of the state’s 10- year $1 billion investment in the life sciences.

During the 2004 calendar year Dr. Lodish served as President of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Prof. Lodish has been a founder and scientific advisory board member of fourteen biotech companies, including Genzyme (acquired by Sanofi for US$20 billion in 2011), Millennium Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Takeda for US$8.8 billion in 2008), and Rubius Therapeutics (IPO in 2018). Together with two parents of children with Dravet Syndrome, he founded Tevard, a company developing novel gene therapies for several genetic brain and muscle disorders. With a former student he recently founded Cerberus, which develops novel protein- based therapeutics for autoimmune diseases and also protein-based vaccines for several viral infections. And with two former students he founded Carmine, which develops red cell extracellular vesicles as gene delivery vehicles. 

He has served on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Eisai Research Institute in Massachusetts and on the Scientific Advisory Board of Astra and then AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. He has testified as an expert witness in seven high- profile biotechnology patent trials in Federal Court, notably Amgen vs. TKT Aventis in 2000, Amgen vs. Roche in 2009, and Biogen vs. Merck – Serono in 2018; he was on the winning side in all.

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Building on the achievements of the SBA 1.0 and 2.0 conferences held in 2021 and 2023, SynBio Africa is set to organize the SBA 3.0 International Synthetic Biology, AI, and Biosecurity Conference in Nairobi, Kenya from July 17 to 19, 2024.