Adam Neville Lecture

Friday, 13th April 2012

4pm, MSI Large Lecture Theatre

Professor Robert A. Weinberg

“Cancer stem cells and the Epithelial-Mesenchymal transition”

Professor Robert Weinberg is a legend in the field of cancer research. He discovered the first oncogene (RAS) and the first tumour suppressor gene (RB). Briefly, in seminal experiments, he was the first to show that an activated human gene (RAS) could, by itself, cause tumours when introduced into noncancerous cells and that an inactivated human gene (RB) could confer familial susceptibility to a pediatric eye cancer (retinoblastoma). These discoveries, and his landmark paper “Mechanism of Activation of a Human Oncogene” in the journal Nature have shaped modern cancer biology.

His lab now primarily focuses on two areas: the interactions between epithelial and stromal cells (the two major types of cells found in mammalian tissue) that produce carcinomas and the processes by which cancer cells invade and metastasize.

Robert Weinberg is the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor and American Cancer Society Professor for Cancer Research at MIT and a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He is a member of the US National Academy of Science and recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including The Bristol-Myers Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research (1984), The National Medal of Science (1997), The Wolf Prize in Medicine (2004), The Landon-AACR Prize for Cancer Research (2006) and the Otto Warburg Medal (2007).