Recorded: 03 Jun 2016
Well, I guess to the extent that my research group has been successful over the years at MIT. I’ve always focused on posing biological questions that need to be answered rather than focusing on new techniques, on elegant experimental procedure, but instead trying to generate some interesting conceptual, take-home lessons about biological problems that I thought then or continue to think are worth one’s energies. And not everybody works that way. Some people learn a certain technique or embrace a certain problem and stick with that through much of their career and I have instead been a scientific gypsy, moving from one area to another, but to be sure over the last 35 years related in one way or another to the formation of human cancer.
Robert "Bob" Weinberg is Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research and director of the Ludwig Cancer Center at MIT, an American Cancer Society Research Professor, and is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.
In 1982 he was one of the scientists to discover the first human oncogene, Ras, which causes normal cells to form tumors, and his lab also isolated the first known tumor suppressor gene, Rb.
He co-authored with Douglas Hanahan the landmark "Hallmarks of Cancer" paper in 2000, which laid out the six requirements for a healthy cell to become cancerous.