Genes and the Origins of Cancer

Genes and the Origins of Cancer


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Robert A. Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Robert A. Weinberg received his S.B. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964 and his Ph.D. from the same institution in 1969. After four years of postdoctoral research with Ernest Winocour at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovoth, Israel, and Renatto Dulbecco at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, Dr. Weinberg returned to his alma mater in 1972 to work as a research associate with David Baltimore. In 1973 he was made a faculty member in the Department of Biology, where he continues to work today. In addition to his position at MIT, Dr. Weinberg became a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in 1982. Included in Dr. Weinberg's list of over twenty-five honors are the Discover Magazine Scientist of the Year Award (1982), the Armand Hammer Cancer Prize, the Bristol-Meyers Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, election to the National Academy of Sciences, and the Sloan Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation. His work: Dr. Weinberg has a long publication record (in both the technical and more popular literature) on the molecular basis of cancer, or more specifically, how normal cells become "transformed" into cancer cells. His lab is currently investigating the regulation of the ras family of oncogenes, which are found in an unregulated form in cancers of the bone marrow, bladder, breast, skin, lung, colon, and brain. He is also interested in the activity of the retinoblastoma gene, a so-called tumor suppressor gene. He is coauthor (with Harold Varmus) of Genes and the Biology of Cancer, a volume in the Scientific American Library series.

(This information was taken from the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series Program 1993-1994).


cancer, biology, genetics

Creation Date

November 20, 1993

Genes and the Origins of Cancer