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 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 as a foundation for disease research. On this foundation, he and his colleagues have developed laboratory tools and analytical methods necessary to enable the systematic study of human genetic variation for its role in common diseases. He has discovered gene variants that influence the risk of common conditions, including type 2 diabetes, blood cholesterol, heart attack, prostate cancer, systemic lupus erythematosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Altshuler has been on the faculty of Harvard since 2000 and is currently a 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 also appointed as an adjunct professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Among his honors are election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the US Institute of Medicine. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Human Genetics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He has served in many advisory capacities, including on 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 was awarded the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics and the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association. Altshuler was also named a Champion of Change by the White House for his leadership role in the 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 at Massachusetts General Hospital.