Esteemed Indian physician, researcher, and best-selling author Siddhartha Mukherjee is set to deliver the keynote address at the 2024 University of Pennsylvania Commencement on May 20, at Franklin Field.

In a University release, Penn Interim President J. Larry Jameson expressed his excitement about Mukherjee’s acceptance of the invitation, highlighting his exceptional contributions to the medical field and his ability to communicate complex medical topics effectively through his acclaimed writings.

Mukherjee, currently an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University and an oncologist at the university’s medical center, is widely recognized for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Emperor of All Maladies” (2011), as well as “The Gene: An Intimate History” (2016), and “The Song of the Cell” (2022). These works have significantly influenced public understanding of human health, medicine, and science.

Time magazine listed “The Emperor of All Maladies” among the 100 best nonfiction books of the past century, and both it and “The Gene” were adapted into PBS documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns.

Mukherjee’s groundbreaking research into cancer cells has revolutionized modern medicine, leading to advancements in cancer pathology and the development of innovative treatments beyond conventional pharmaceutical approaches.

Apart from his literary achievements, Mukherjee’s contributions extend to scientific journals such as Nature, Cell, and The New England Journal of Medicine. He has received numerous awards for his scientific endeavors.

During the Commencement ceremony, Mukherjee will be conferred with an honorary doctor of sciences degree, alongside other distinguished recipients including Ingrid Daubechies, Karl Deisseroth, Kenneth (Kenny) Gamble, Leon Huff, and Maya Lin.

Julie Platt, chair of the Trustee Honorary Degrees and Awards Committee, expressed the university’s deep honor in welcoming these accomplished individuals, emphasizing their significant contributions to their respective fields and global impact. The entire Penn community eagerly anticipates celebrating their achievements.