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Bullet policy · Jan 19, 2021

Biden Selects Life Scientist as Science Adviser

President-elect Joe Biden has announced that he will nominate Dr. Eric Lander—a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician—to serve as the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and his science adviser.

According to the announcement, Biden will be “elevating the role of science within the White House, including by designating the Presidential Science Advisor as a member of the Cabinet for the first time in history.”

Dr. Lander is the President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University and was the principal leader of the Human Genome Project. Lander is currently a professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. He previously served as co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology under President Obama.

Lander is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine and is the recipient of several awards and honors, including, the MacArthur Fellowship, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Abelson Prize and the Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.

If confirmed by the Senate, Lander will become the first biologist to serve as Presidential Science Adviser and OSTP Director—positions currently held by Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, a meteorologist, since January 2019.