2018 Commencement Speaker: Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee Siddhartha Mukherjee, a physician who has redefined public discourse on human health, will deliver the commencement address for USC’s 135th commencement ceremony.

A pioneering oncologist, Mukherjee is best known for his 2011 Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. It was made into a three-part documentary by Ken Burns and was included among Time magazine’s 100 best nonfiction books of the past century.

His writings on the historical aspects of disease and the philosophy of medicine addresses medicine’s most pressing issues, from expressing the governing principles of the medical profession to deciphering the fundamental genetic code that defines us as human beings. His latest work, The Gene: An Intimate History, delves into the mysterious master-code that defines humans.

A Rhodes scholar, Mukherjee serves as an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and as a staff cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, such as Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, and The New York Times, and he serves as editor-in-chief of Tonic, the digital health news platform for Vice Media.

Mukherjee’s achievements as a writer and educator build upon his exceptional career as a renowned medical researcher. His groundbreaking studies into the composition and behavior of cancer cells have pushed the boundaries of modern medicine. Through his research, he has enabled the development of new treatments that reach beyond the pharmaceutical model toward a diverse array of cutting-edge biological and environmental therapies.