Recorded: 23 Feb 2012
Well, Howard Temin was in the field. Sabura Hanafuso was in the field. And then there were many people who worked with mouse viruses. Shala Friend [?], Maloney, and there were many others.
I have to come back to the fact that Rous sarcoma we started to work with in Seattle was a non-defective virus. And that the study of the virus then revealed the existence of viral nuclens that had lost the ability to cause cancer, but were still able to reproduce as viruses. So just the cancer causing ability was gone. And together with Peter Duesberg I had shown that this loss corresponds to a deletion of about twenty percent of the viral genome. So on the one hand we had a fully oncogenic virus, and a somewhat smaller virus that was still a good virus, but was no longer oncogenic. So it was logical to think of that piece that was lost as not only essential for transformation, but being the oncogene. And as evidence accumulated the nature of this gene became really the focus of our work. And Harold, and Mike started working on the molecular biology of these viruses, and they were the ones who wanted to compare the short genomes with the large genomes. And then by subtracted hybridization were able to identify the oncogene and show that that oncogene actually occurs in normal cells.
Dr. Peter Vogt, M.D., Ph.D., serves as Member of Scientific Advisory Board of Onconova Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Vogt is at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, CA. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Lasker Award winner. His fundamental studies on oncogenic avian retroviruses led to the identification of oncogenes in human cells. Dr. Vogt is the editor-in-chief of Virology, a scientific journal.
Dr. Peter Vogt intends to continue his work at the Scripps Research Institute. He is currently working to generate small molecule inhibitors that interfere with the spread of cancer as a new therapeutic approach.