Member Spotlight

Siddhartha Mukherjee



“Three profoundly destabilizing scientific ideas ricochet through

the twentieth century, trisecting it into three unequal parts:

the atom, the byte, the gene.” 

                                                            —Siddhartha Mukherjee



By Bailey DeSimone

Recognized for his writing with the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction, Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of multiple books and articles, including The Gene: An Intimate History (Scribner, 2016), the recipient of the 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science.

Born in New Delhi, India, Mukherjee graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1992 from Stanford University, where he earned a degree in biology. He went on to achieve a Rhodes scholarship for his doctoral research at the University of Oxford and obtained his Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School. His other noteworthy works include the Pulitzer Prize-winner The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Scribner, 2010) and The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science (Simon & Schuster, 2015). Additionally, he has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and Cell, as well as having edited The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013 (Mariner Books, 2013). 

Currently, he contributes to the sciences through service as an assistant professor of medicine and a staff cancer physician at Columbia University in New York, where he resides with his wife and daughters.

The Phi Beta Kappa Society will formally present Mukherjee with the 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science at the annual Book Awards Dinner on December 1 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. 


Bailey DeSimone (ΦBK, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2017) is an assistant with the National Arts & Sciences Initiative. At Chapel Hill, DeSimone majored in history and global studies. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is home to the Alpha Chapter of North Carolina.


Photo: Deborah Feingold / Courtesy of Scribner.