David Altshuler, MD, PhD

Chief Academic Officer, Broad Institute of MIT
Harvard Professor of Genetics and Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School

David Altshuler

David Altshuler, a clinical endocrinologist and human geneticist, is a founding core member of the Broad Institute and has directed the Broad’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics since 2003. In 2009 he was named deputy director and the Broad’s first chief academic officer.

Altshuler studies human genetic variation and its application to disease, using tools and information from the Human Genome Project. He has been a leader in The SNP Consortium, International HapMap Project, and 1000 Genomes Project, public-private partnerships that have created public maps of human genome sequence variation. On this foundation, the Altshuler Lab has developed laboratory tools and analytical methods necessary to enable the systematic study of human genetic variation for its role in common diseases. He and his colleagues have discovered hundreds of gene variants that influence the risk of common conditions, with a particular focus on type 2 diabetes and its complications.

Altshuler joined the faculty of Harvard in 2000 where he is professor of genetics and medicine at Harvard Medical School, and in the Department of Molecular Biology, the Diabetes Unit of the Department of Medicine, and the Center for Human Genetic Research, all at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2012 he was appointed adjunct professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Among his honors are elections to the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Vertex Pharmaceuicals, and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Human Genetics, the Advisory Council of the NIDDK (National Institutes of Health), the Strategy Committee at the Wellcome Trust, and the Board of Reviewing Editors at Science. He received the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics the Neihaus Sourthworth Weissenbach Award of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association, and the Young Mentor Award at Harvard Medical School. In 2013 Altshuler was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House for his leadership role in creating a global alliance for sharing genomic and clinical data.

Altshuler received his B.S. from MIT, Ph.D. from Harvard University, and M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internship, residency, and clinical fellowship training all at Massachusetts General Hospital.