Dr. Mukherjee’s fascination with cancer is rooted not just in how to fight it, but in where it originated. Discovering almost nothing on the subject, the cancer physician and researcher wrote The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer that explores the history of the disease that causes one-quarter of all American deaths.
Siddhartha Mukherjee's fascination with cancer is rooted not just in how to fight it, but in where it originated. Discovering almost nothing on the subject, the cancer physician and researcher wrote his book that explores the history of the disease that causes one-quarter of all American deaths.
Already receiving rave reviews by The New Yorker and The New York Times, the concept behind the book was first developed when Mukherjee, a cancer physician and researcher, was treating a patient who pressed him for what seemed like pretty straightforward information about her disease. He recalls, during his PopTech talk, the questions to which she was seeking answers:
“What was it that she was fighting? How old was it? Since when has it begun to envelop our lives the way that it does today? Where are we going? What happens next and how did we get here in this moment of time with cancer being what it is?” Recognizing there was no resource he could direct his patients to for those answers, he took matters into his own hands to become “cancer’s biographer” and close the gaps about what we don’t know about cancer’s storied past.
Dr. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center.
A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and The New Republic. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters.