Lifton is Chairman of Genetics at Yale and a professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry. So he's got that going for him (Caddyshack reference anyone?). He received his training from Brigham and Women's Hospital after getting his medical degree and PhD from Stanford.
He says his research has focused on genes causing renal disease.
Our understanding is that Francis Collins, NHLBI's Elizabeth Nabel and Lifton are on the NIH shortlist. We'll let you know when we hear more.