Dr. Muthiah Manoharan

Dr. Muthiah (Mano) Manoharan serves as the Senior Vice President of Drug Innovation, a Scientific Advisory Board Member, and a Distinguished Research Scientist at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2003, he was the founding chemist hired at Alnylam as the Head of the Drug Discovery. He and his team pioneered the discovery and development of numerous chemical modifications, GalNAc conjugation chemistry, and LNP delivery platform that make RNA interference-based human therapeutics possible. This work led to the approval of five RNAi therapeutics: ONPATTRO® (patisiran, 2018), GIVLAARI® (givosiran, 2019), OXLUMO® (lumasiran, 2020), LEQVIO® (inclisiran, 2020, 2021) and AMVUTTRA® (vutrisiran, 2022).

Dr. Manoharan has had a distinguished career as a world-leading chemist in the field of oligonucleotides. He is an author of more than 230 publications (nearly 56,300 Google Scholar citations with an h-index of 110 and an i10-index of 416) and over 500 abstracts, as well as an inventor of over 250 issued U.S. patents. Prior to Alnylam, Dr. Manoharan worked in the field of antisense oligonucleotide therapeutics at Ionis (formerly Isis) Pharmaceuticals and at LifeCodes Corporation. He also served as a member of the chemistry faculty at the American College, Madurai, Tamil Nādu, India.

Dr. Manoharan received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in chemistry at the American College, Madurai, Tamil Nādu, India. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry (with Professor Ernest L. Eliel) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and carried out post-doctoral research (with Professor John A. Gerlt) in the field of oligonucleotide chemistry and DNA repair enzymes at Yale University and at the University of Maryland. Dr. Manoharan is the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (2019), the M. L. Wolfrom Award (2007), D. Horton Industrial Carbohydrate Chemistry Award (2021) from the Carbohydrate Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society and the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) 2022 Medal by the Council of the Chemical Research Society of India.