Robert Weinberg, PhD, was honored for his seminal contributions to cancer research and cancer biology with the 13th annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research at the 2016 AACR Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans, April 16–20.
Robert Weinberg, PhD
The AACR established the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research in 2004 to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a body of work. These contributions, whether they have been in research, leadership, or mentorship, must have had a lasting impact on the cancer field and must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress against cancer.
Dr. Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research in the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Director of the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology at MIT.
Contributions to Genetics
Dr. Weinberg is known for his discovery of the first human oncogene, RAS, and the cloning of the first tumor suppressor gene, Rb. His groundbreaking observations were critical in establishing the concept that cancer arises as a result of genetic mutations. Together with subsequent work from his laboratory, these discoveries formed the basis of our current understanding of cancer biology and laid the foundation for the era of precision medicine.
More recently, Dr. Weinberg’s research has focused on understanding the complex molecular mechanisms that regulate carcinoma invasion and metastasis, delineating the connection between epithelial-mesenchymal-transition, and the metastatic spread of cancer.
In addition to his extraordinary research accomplishments, Dr. Weinberg is the coauthor, with Douglas Hanahan,
PhD, of one of the most influential papers in the field of cancer research, “The Hallmarks of Cancer.” Drs. Weinberg and Hanahan updated these concepts 11 years later in an equally acclaimed paper, “Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation.”
In 1982, Dr. Weinberg joined the faculty of MIT as a professor of biology and helped found the Whitehead Institute. Previously, he held research positions at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. Dr. Weinberg received his doctorate from MIT. ■