“It is a great honour to be recognized by India in this manner,” said Mukherjee, best known for the 2010 book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer”, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize and an award from The Guardian.
“I am continuing my research on cancer and stem cells and hope to continue making important contributions to medicine and human biology,” Mukherjee told IANS from New York where he is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University.
New Delhi-born Mukherjee, 43, also works as a staff physician at Columbia University Medical Centre in New York City.
He has been the Plummer Visiting Professor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the Joseph Garland lecturer at the Massachusetts Medical Society and an honorary visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Mukherjee’s book on cancer was named one of the 100 most influential books written in English since 1923 by TIME and one of the 100 best works of non-fiction by The New York Times Magazine.
A hematologist and oncologist, Mukherjee is also known for his work on the formation of blood and the interactions between the micro-environment (or “niche”) and cancer cells.
As a biology major at Stanford University, he worked in Nobel Laureate Paul Berg’s laboratory defining cellular genes that change the behaviours of cancer cells.
Mukherjee, who had his schooling at St. Columba’s School in New Delhi, is married to Sarah Sze and has two children.