Edison T. Liu, M.D.

Professor, President Emeritus and Honorary Fellow

Conducts research focused on the functional genomics of breast cancer through an exploration of the entire genomic space.

Jackson Laboratory Professor, President Emeritus, and Honorary Fellow Edison Liu, M.D., focuses on the functional genomics of human cancers, particularly breast cancer, uncovering new oncogenes, and deciphering on a genomic scale the dynamics of gene regulation that modulate cancer biology.

From 2011 to 2021, Dr. Liu was the president and CEO of The Jackson Laboratory, an independent research institute focused on complex genetics and functional genomics. During his tenure, JAX grew significantly in revenue, employee headcount, international presence, research scope, philanthropy and physical footprint. Under Liu’s leadership, JAX established The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Conn., and added production facilities in Ellsworth, Maine and Japan and established a joint venture in China to the institution’s headquarters campus in Bar Harbor, Maine, and production facility in Sacramento, Calif.

Previously, he was the founding executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore and the president of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO). He was also the scientific director of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Clinical Sciences in Bethesda, Md., where he was in charge of the intramural clinical translational science programs. In his earlier career, Dr. Liu was a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was the director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Breast Cancer; the director of the Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology at UNC's School of Public Health; and the Chief of Medical Genetics.

Dr. Liu is an international expert in cancer biology, systems genomics, human genetics, molecular epidemiology and translational medicine. He has authored more than 320 scientific papers and reviews and co-authored two books. He obtained his B.S. in chemistry and psychology, as well as his M.D., at Stanford University. He then received his residency and fellowship training at Washington University, St, Louis, and Stanford, and postdoctoral training in molecular oncology at the University of California at San Francisco.

Throughout his career Dr. Liu has received numerous accolades and awards, including the AACR Rosenthal Award and the Brinker International Award, both for breast cancer research; the Public Service Medal from the President of Singapore for his contributions to resolving the SARS crisis; and the Chen Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetics. He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, as President of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), as a foreign member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, and as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He holds honorary degrees from Queen’s University (Belfast, Northern Ireland), University of Southern Maine, and Colby College (Waterville, Maine).

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Grants, honors and accomplishments

2021 April - Awarded: Business Leader of the Year. Mainebiz

2020 May - Awarded Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine

2018-present - Elected, Board of Directors, American Association for Cancer Research

2017 - 50th Anniversary Founding of the Republic of Singapore-Announced: One of 50 most important foreigners in Singapore’s history
2016 November - Elected, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow
2016 May - Awarded Doctor of Sciences honoris causa, Colby College, Waterville, Maine

2014 April - 2014 Chen Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research (from the Human Genome Organization)

2013 January - Elected, Fellow of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering 

2010 October - Fellow of the Hastings Center (New York, Elected Membership) 

2010-2013 - Re-elected - President, Human Genome Organization (HUGO) 

2008 - Elected, Foreign Associate Member, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) 

July 2007 - Awarded Doctor of Medical Sciences honoris causa, Queen’s University, Belfast September 

June 2007-2010 - Elected – President, Human Genome Organization (HUGO) 

September 2003 - Public Service Medal (National Day, 2003): for work in controlling SARS in Singapore (given by the Office of the President, Republic of Singapore)