Vice President and a Distinguished Research Scientist, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Muthiah (Mano) Manoharan serves as a Senior Vice President and a Distinguished Research Scientist at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. In 2003, he was the first chemist hired at Alnylam. He and his team pioneered the discovery and development of the chemical modifications that make RNA interference-based human therapeutics possible. His work led to ONPATTRO (patisiran), the first RNAi therapeutic approved by FDA in 2018. Dr. Manoharan has had a distinguished career as a world-leading chemist in the areas of oligonucleotide chemical modifications, conjugation chemistry, and delivery platforms (lipid nanoparticles, polymer conjugates, and complex-forming strategies). Dr. Manoharan and his research group demonstrated for the first time the human therapeutic applications of GalNAc-conjugated oligonucleotides, a platform that has revolutionized the nucleic acid-based therapeutics field with several compounds in the advanced clinical trials. He is an author of more than 210 publications (nearly 40,000 citations with an h-index of 91 and an i10-index of 350) and over 400 abstracts, as well as an inventor of over 225 issued U.S. patents. Prior to Alnylam, Dr. Manoharan worked at Ionis (formerly Isis) Pharmaceuticals and Lifecodes Corporation in the field of antisense oligonucleotide therapeutics. He received the M. L. Wolfrom Award from the American Chemical Society Carbohydrate Chemistry Division in 2007 for his contributions to this field. Dr. Manoharan earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with Professor Ernest L. Eliel and did post-doctoral research at Yale University and the University of Maryland with Professor John A. Gerlt.