Forming the paradigm for much of modern cancer research, Dr Bert Vogelstein’s novel approach to studying the molecular basis of colorectal cancers revealed that they result from the sequential accumulation of alterations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.
The genes that Bert Vogelstein discovered during the course of these studies were subsequently shown to be altered in many other tumor types. In addition to their importance for understanding the pathogenesis of human cancers, his work has had profound practical implications for patients with hereditary and sporadic forms of neoplasia.
Vogelstein’s work on colorectal cancers forms the paradigm for much of modern cancer research. He designed novel approaches to study the molecular basis of these tumors and found that they result from the sequential accumulation of alterations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. The genes that he discovered during the course of these studies were subsequently shown to be altered in many other tumor types. In addition to their importance for understanding the pathogenesis of human cancers, his work has had profound practical implications for patients with hereditary and sporadic forms of neoplasia..
Vogelstein attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with distinction in mathematics. He obtained his medical degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and performed his residency in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Following his clinical training, Vogelstein completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, focusing on the development of new techniques in molecular biology. He returned to Johns Hopkins as an Assistant Professor in Oncology, and is now Clayton Professor of Oncology and Pathology. Vogelstein also holds a joint appointment in Molecular Biology and Genetics at JHU and is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is currently the Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics & Therapeutics at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Vogelstein has received numerous awards recognizing his pioneering studies on the pathogenesis of human cancer. These include the Young Investigator Award from the American Federation for Clinical Research, The Bristol Myers Squibb Award for distinguished achievement in cancer research, the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor, The Gairdner Foundation International Award in Science, the Shacknai Memorial Prize from the Hebrew University, The Dickson Prize from the University of Pittsburgh, the Pezcoller Foundation Award, the Baxter Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Howard Taylor Ricketts Award from the University of Chicago, the Ernst Schering Prize, the Passano Award, the Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, the William Beaumont Prize in Gastroenterology from the American Gastroenterological Association, the Karnofsky Memorial Award from the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize from the Paul Ehrlich Foundation, the William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics, the Richard Lounsbery Award from the National Academy of Sciences, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University, the Harvey Prize in Human Health from the Technion, the Charles S. Mott Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the John Scott Award from the John Scott Trust, the New York Academy of Medicine Medal for Distinguished Contributions to Biomedical Science, the Prince of Asturias Award in Science from The Prince of Asturias Foundation, the Pasarow Award for Medical Research, the Pioneer in Science Award from the American Research Forum, the Science of Oncology Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research,
Vogelstein was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as well as the National Academy of Sciences, USA in 1992, to the American Philosophical Society in 1995, to the Institute of Medicine in 2001 and to the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 2005. His advisory roles have included Chairmanships of the National Research Council Committee on the Biological and Biomedical Applications of Stem Cell Research and the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Human Genome Research Institute. He is an inventor of more than 100 U.S. patents. Vogelstein has also held editorial positions at Science, Molecular Cell, Cancer Cell and The New England Journal of Medicine. According to the Institute for Scientific Information, Vogelstein is the most highly cited scientist in the world – with more than 170,000 citations, far more than any other scientist, in any discipline.