Mano Manoharan is the Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals; he has led the Alnylam chemistry group since 2003. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he studied with Professor Ernest Eliel. He did post-doctoral research on DNA repair enzymes at Yale University and at the University of Maryland (with Professor John Gerlt) using synthetic oligonucleotides.
He has been an oligonucleotide chemist since 1983 and has been involved in oligonucleotide-based therapeutics since 1988 when he started his industrial career at Lifecodes, a small antisense company in Valhalla, New York during the early days of antisense research.
He moved to Ionis Pharmaceuticals in 1990 and contributed to its growth through discovery of numerous chemical modifications and development of conjugation chemistry to enable delivery of oligonucleotides. Since his move to Alnylam in 2003, Mano has worked to make siRNAs therapeutically viable using chemical modifications, conjugates and cationic lipids and other delivery systems. Mano is an author on over 160 publications and over 300 abstracts, as well as the inventor on over 150 issued U.S. patents.