Tom Maniatis

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Tom Maniatis
Born (1943-05-08) May 8, 1943 (age 80)
Alma materUniversity of Colorado, Vanderbilt University
Known forThe development and application of gene cloning methods to the study of molecular biology.
AwardsThe Eli Lilly Research Award in Microbiology and Immunology, 1981
Richard Lounsbery Award, 1985
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1985
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1985
Pasarow Award in Cancer Research, 2001
Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science, 2012
Member, National Academy of Medicine, 2012
Scientific career
FieldsMolecular Biology
InstitutionsHarvard University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Columbia University
Doctoral advisorLeonard Lerman
Other academic advisorsMark Ptashne, Fred Sanger

Tom Maniatis (born May 8, 1943), is an American professor of molecular and cellular biology. He is a professor at Columbia University, and serves as the Scientific Director and CEO of the New York Genome Center.[1][2]


Maniatis received B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and a PhD in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University.[3] He carried out postdoctoral studies at Harvard University and at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.[4]

Research and career[edit]

Maniatis developed and disseminated gene cloning technologies and their applications in the study of gene regulatory mechanisms.[5][6]

cDNA Cloning[edit]

While an assistant professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard, and a member of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) faculty, Maniatis collaborated with Drs. Fotis Kafatos and Argiris Efstratiadis to develop a method for synthesizing and cloning full length double stranded DNA copies of messenger RNA (termed “copy” or cDNA).[7][8][9][10] This method provided a key step in the isolation of human genes, and in the production of “recombinant” proteins in mammalian cells in culture, a central process in the biotechnology industry.[11][12]

Genomic DNA libraries[edit]

Maniatis joined the Department of Biology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena California, where his laboratory developed methods to isolate and study individual human genes.[13] This lab generated the first human genomic DNA library containing all of the genes in the human genome.[14]

Using genomic DNA library, the Maniatis lab isolated and characterized the entire “cluster” of human b-globin genes, which were the first human genes to be cloned and their DNA sequences determined.[15] His laboratory contributed fundamental insights into the mechanisms of RNA transcription, RNA splicing and the regulation of gene expression.[16][17][18]

Maniatis returned to Harvard in 1980 where he taught and continued his research. In 2010 he moved to Columbia University.[14][19] While there he cofounded the New York Genome Center in 2010. He became the Scientific Director and CEO of the center in 2016.[1]

Molecular cloning manual[edit]

Maniatis was involved in the writing of the “Molecular Cloning Manual”.[20] In 1979, the Maniatis lab had developed and deployed gene cloning methods. Maniatis and Ed Fritsch taught a summer course in gene cloning at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.[18] Based on the material presented in the course they collaborated with Joseph Sambrook, then the Scientific Director of the CSHL, to write the textbook.

Biotechnology companies[edit]

Maniatis and Mark Ptashne founded Genetics Institute, Inc. in 1980.[21] The company produced several FDA approved drugs “protein biologics” including blood clotting factors for the treatment of hemophilia, and erythropoietin for the treatment of anemia.[22][23][24] The company was acquired by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

In 1994, Maniatis, Fred Goldeberg, and others from the Harvard Medical School founded ProScript.[25] The company invented the proteasome inhibitor Velcade (Bortezomid)[26] approved by the FDA for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma. ProScript was acquired by Millennium/Takeda Pharma.

In 2004 Maniatis cofounded Acceleron Pharma, a TGF-b company that produced “ligand trap” drugs, including REBLOZYL® for the treatment of Myodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and b-thalassaemia.[27][25]

Kallyope was founded by Maniatis, Charles Zuker, and Richard Axel in 2006. It focused on the development of drugs to treat metabolic and inflammatory disorders of the gut.[28]

Maniatis, David Goeddel, and William Rudder won the Brandeis University Jacob and Louise Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine in 1999.[29]


Maniatis has served on the board of trustees of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Jackson Laboratory, and the Rockefeller University.[30][31][13]

Maniatis led the ALS Association's initiative TREAT ALS (Translational Research Advancing Therapy for ALS) that combines drug discovery with priorities set for existing drug candidates, to accelerate clinical testing of compounds with promise for treating the disease.[32][33][34] He also served on the scientific advisory board of “Prize for Life” founded by Avichai Kremer. Maniatis’ won the Jacob F. Javits Lifetime Achievement Award in ALS research from the ALS Association.[13]

Maniatis was a cofounder of the New York Genome Center, headed its scientific steering committee, and has served as a member of its board of directors from its founding in 2011.[1]

Maniatis is founding director of the university-wide Columbia University Precision Medicine Initiative (CPMI), which is dedicated to the application of genomic technology to the advancement of basic and medical science, directed towards the practice of precision medicine (the use of genetic and genomic information to diagnose and treat human diseases).[21]


Maniatis has received Honorary PhD degrees from the University of Athens, the Cold Spring Harbor Graduate School of Biological Sciences, and the Rockefeller University.[38][1]

Maniatis was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985, and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine in 2012.[17][2][39]


  1. ^ a b c d "Tom Maniatis, PhD". New York Genome Center. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  2. ^ a b "Tom Maniatis". 2017-03-06. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  3. ^ "Tom Maniatis | Icahn School of Medicine". Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  4. ^ a b "Physio - Tom Maniatis Profile". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  5. ^ Manoli, Devanand S.; Tollkuhn, Jessica (2018). "Gene regulatory mechanisms underlying sex differences in brain development and psychiatric disease". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1420 (1): 26–45. Bibcode:2018NYASA1420...26M. doi:10.1111/nyas.13564. ISSN 0077-8923. PMC 5991992. PMID 29363776.
  6. ^ Qiu, Zilong; Ghosh, Anirvan (2008-11-06). "A Brief History of Neuronal Gene Expression: Regulatory Mechanisms and Cellular Consequences". Neuron. 60 (3): 449–455. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2008.10.039. ISSN 0896-6273. PMID 18995819.
  7. ^ Sim, G. K.; Kafatos, F. C.; Jones, C. W.; Koehler, M. D.; Efstratiadis, A.; Maniatis, T. (1979). "Use of a cDNA library for studies on evolution and developmental expression of the chorion multigene families". Cell. 18 (4): 1303–1316. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(79)90241-1. ISSN 0092-8674. PMID 519770.
  8. ^ Gao, Xinghong; Jia, Renyong; Wang, Mingshu; Zhu, Dekang; Chen, Shun; Lin, Meng; Yin, Zhongqiong; Wang, Yin; Chen, Xiaoyue; Cheng, Anchun (2014-01-01). "Construction and identification of a cDNA library for use in the yeast two-hybrid system from duck embryonic fibroblast cells post-infected with duck enteritis virus". Molecular Biology Reports. 41 (1): 467–475. doi:10.1007/s11033-013-2881-z. ISSN 1573-4978. PMID 24293127. S2CID 10291314.
  9. ^ Forde, Brian G. (1983), Walker, John M.; Gaastra, Wim (eds.), "Synthesis of cDNA for Molecular Cloning", Techniques in Molecular Biology, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, pp. 167–183, doi:10.1007/978-94-011-6563-1_9, ISBN 978-94-011-6563-1, retrieved 2021-06-21
  10. ^ Efstratiadis, A.; Kafatos, F. C.; Maxam, A. M.; Maniatis, T. (1976). "Enzymatic in vitro synthesis of globin genes". Cell. 7 (2): 279–288. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(76)90027-1. ISSN 0092-8674. PMID 60178. S2CID 41899832.
  11. ^ Mattaliano, R. J.; Rosa, J. J.; Foeller, C.; Woodard, J. P.; Bertolini, M. J. (1987), Walsh, Kenneth A. (ed.), "Analysis of Recombinant Proteins — Current Trends and Practical Limits in Analytical Stringency", Methods in Protein Sequence Analysis · 1986, Experimental Biology and Medicine, Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, pp. 79–95, doi:10.1007/978-1-59259-480-1_6, ISBN 978-1-59259-480-1, retrieved 2021-06-21
  12. ^ Horvath, Henriette; Huang, Jintai; Wong, Oi; Kohl, Elizabeth; Okita, Thomas; Kannangara, C. Gamini; von Wettstein, Diter (2000-02-15). "The production of recombinant proteins in transgenic barley grains". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 97 (4): 1914–1919. Bibcode:2000PNAS...97.1914H. doi:10.1073/pnas.030527497. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 26536. PMID 10677555.
  13. ^ a b c "Thomas Maniatis, Ph.D." Events & Lectures. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  14. ^ a b "TOM MANIATIS: GENE EXPRESSION, CLONING AND BEYOND". Harvard University - Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology. 2004-11-16. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  15. ^ a b "Tom Maniatis: Mastering Methods and Exploring Molecular Mechanisms". Rita Allen Foundation. August 9, 2016. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  16. ^ "mRNA Splicing: Fourty [sic] years from Discovery to Therapeutics - Tom Maniatis - RNA transcription, splicing and stochastic promoter choice in the Protocadherin α gene cluster". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  17. ^ a b "Thomas Maniatis". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  18. ^ a b c d "Tom Maniatis: A Deep Sense that Science Must Be Shared". Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  19. ^ "A LASKER GOES TO . . . TOM MANIATIS, FORMER MCB PROFESSOR". Harvard University - Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  20. ^ Creager, Angela N. H. (2020). "Recipes for recombining DNA: A history of Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual". BJHS Themes. 5: 225–243. doi:10.1017/bjt.2020.5. ISSN 2058-850X.
  21. ^ a b "Tom Maniatis | Precision Medicine". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  22. ^ "Wyeth Biopharma - 183 Employees - US Staff". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  23. ^ Georgopoulos, Dimitris; Matamis, Dimitris; Routsi, Christina; Michalopoulos, Argiris; Maggina, Nina; Dimopoulos, George; Zakynthinos, Epaminondas; Nakos, George; Thomopoulos, George; Mandragos, Kostas; Maniatis, Alice (2005-10-05). "Recombinant human erythropoietin therapy in critically ill patients: a dose-response study [ISRCTN48523317]". Critical Care. 9 (5): R508–515. doi:10.1186/cc3786. ISSN 1466-609X. PMC 1297615. PMID 16277712.
  24. ^ Maniatis, G. M.; Rifkind, R. A.; Bank, A.; Marks, P. A. (1973). "Early stimulation of RNA synthesis by erythropoietin in cultures of erythroid precursor cells". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 70 (11): 3189–3194. Bibcode:1973PNAS...70.3189M. doi:10.1073/pnas.70.11.3189. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 427198. PMID 4522297.
  25. ^ a b "Tom Maniatis, Ph.D." Acceleron Pharma Inc. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  26. ^ Rossi, M.; Oberst, A.; Sayan, A. Emre; Salomoni, P. (2005). "Proteasome inhibitors in cancer therapy: death by indigestion". Cell Death & Differentiation. 12 (9): 1255–1257. doi:10.1038/sj.cdd.4401701. ISSN 1476-5403.
  27. ^ "Acceleron Announces Retirement of Director and Co-Founder Tom Maniatis". Bloomberg. 10 June 2019. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  28. ^ "Kallyope". Kallyope. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  29. ^ "Past Winners". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  30. ^ "Tom Maniatis". Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  31. ^ "006908 - B6.Cg-Ikbke/J". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  32. ^ "TREAT ALS - The ALS Association". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  33. ^ Poppe, Lindsay; Rué, Laura; Robberecht, Wim; Van Den Bosch, Ludo (2014-12-01). "Translating biological findings into new treatment strategies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)". Experimental Neurology. 262: 138–151. doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.07.001. ISSN 0014-4886. PMID 25017368.
  34. ^ Mao, Zhijuan; Zhang, Suming; Chen, Hong (2015-11-19). "Stem cell therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis". Cell Regeneration. 4: 4:11. doi:10.1186/s13619-015-0026-7. ISSN 2045-9769. PMC 4653876. PMID 26594318.
  35. ^ "Richard Lounsbery Award". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  36. ^ "Thomas Maniatis, Ph.D." The Milstein Awards. 2003-06-21. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  37. ^ "Tom Maniatis Honored with 2012 Lasker-Koshland Award". Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  38. ^ "Tom Maniatis - Greek blood runs through my veins". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  39. ^ "Tom Maniatis". BioFrontiers Institute. 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2021-06-21.

External links[edit]