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Robert Weinberg

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Title: Robert Weinberg  
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Subject: Wolf Prize in Medicine, World Cultural Council, Albert Einstein World Award of Science, Timeline of United States discoveries, The Hallmarks of Cancer
Collection: 1942 Births, Albert Einstein World Award of Science Laureates, American Biologists, American Jews, Jewish American Scientists, Living People, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Faculty, Members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, National Medal of Science Laureates, Recipients of the Pour Le Mérite (Civil Class), Whitehead Institute Faculty, Wolf Prize in Medicine Laureates
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Robert Weinberg

Robert Allan Weinberg
Born (1942-11-11) November 11, 1942
Nationality American
Fields Genetics
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Whitehead Institute
Doctoral students Cornelia Bargmann
Known for "The Hallmarks of Cancer" and The biology of cancer
Notable awards NAS Award in Molecular Biology (1984)
Keio Medical Science Prize (1997)
Albert Einstein World Award of Science (1999)

Robert Allan Weinberg (born November 11, 1942) is a biologist Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), director of the Ludwig Center of the MIT and American Cancer Society Research Professor; his research is in the area of oncogenes and the genetic basis of human cancer.

Robert Weinberg is also affiliated with the Broad Institute and is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He co-teaches MIT course 7.012 (introductory biology) with Eric Lander. Weinberg and Lander are among the co-founders of Verastem, biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by targeting cancer stem cells.[1]


  • Research 1
  • Awards 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes and references 5
  • External links 6


He is best known for his discoveries of the first human oncogene Ras and the first tumor suppressor gene Rb[2]p. 371-381, which is partially documented in Natalie Angier′s book, Natural Obsessions, about her year spent in Weinberg's lab.

In the late 20th century, advances in genetics lead to the discovery of over one hundred cancer cell types. Cancer cells were noted for their bewildering diversity. It was hard to identify the principles that cancers had in common.

He and Douglas Hanahan wrote the seminal paper, "The Hallmarks of Cancer", published in January 2000,[3] that gave the six requirements for one renegade cell to cause a deadly cancer:[2] In 2011, they published an updated review article entitled "Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation".[4]

Capability Simple analogy
Self-sufficiency in growth signals "accelerator pedal stuck on"
Insensitivity to anti-growth signals "brakes don't work"
Evading apoptosis won't die when the body normally would kill the defective cell
Limitless replicative potential infinite generations of descendants
Sustained angiogenesis asking the body to give it a blood supply
Tissue invasion and metastasis migrating and spreading to other organs and tissues

He is well known for both his brilliance in cancer research and for his mentorship of many eminent scientists, including Tyler Jacks. He is currently studying cancer cell metastasis.[5]

He is also the author of the textbook The Biology of Cancer published by Garland Science.


He won the National Medal of Science and the Keio Medical Science Prize in 1997. In 1999, he received the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in recognition of his valuable and pioneering contributions in the field of Biomedical Sciences and for his productive trajectory related to the genetic and molecular basis of neoplastic disease.[6] He obtained the Wolf Prize in Medicine in 2004 (shared with Roger Y. Tsien), and he is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In 2007 he received an honorary doctorate degree in commemoration of Linnaeus from Uppsala University. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 1992.[7] In 2009 he was presented the Hope Funds Award in Basic Research. In 2013 he was awarded the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his work.[8]


  • Tabin, C.J., Bradley, S.M., Bargmann, C.I., Weinberg, R.A., Papageorge, A.G., Scolnick, E.M., Dhar, R., Lowy, D.R., and Chang, E.H. (1982). "Mechanism of activation of a human oncogene". Nature 300 (5888): 143–149.  
  • Shih, C. and Weinberg, R.A. (1982). "Isolation of a transforming sequence from a human bladder carcinoma cell line". Cell 29 (1): 161–169.  
  • Hahn, W.C., Counter, C.M., Lundberg, A.S., Beijersbergen, R.L., Brooks, M.W., and Weinberg, R.A. (1999). "Creation of human tumor cells with defined genetic elements". Nature 400 (6743): 464–468.  
  • Mani SA, Guo W, Liao MJ, Eaton EN, Ayyanan A, Zhou AY, Brooks M, Reinhard F, Zhang CC, Shipitsin M, Campbell LL, Polyak K, Brisken C, Yang J, Weinberg RA. (2008). "The epithelial-mesenchymal transition generates cells with properties of stem cells". Cell 133 (4): 704–15.  
  • Weinberg, Robert (2007). The Biology of Cancer. Garland Science (published 2006).  

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Siddhartha Mukherjee (2010). The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Simon & Schuster.  
  3. ^ Hanahan, Douglas; Weinberg, RA (January 7, 2000). "The Hallmarks of Cancer". Cell 100 (1): 57–70.  
  4. ^ Hanahan, D.; Weinberg, R. A. (2011). "Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation". Cell 144 (5): 646–674.  
  5. ^ Christine L. Chaffer; Robert A. Weinberg (March 25, 2011). "A perspective on Cancer Cell Metastasis". Science 331 (6024): 1559–1564.  
  6. ^ "Albert Einstein World Award of Science 1999". Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Robert Weinberg". Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  8. ^ "LAUREATES 2013". Breakthrough Prize in Lifesciences. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 

External links

  • Weinberg's page at the Whitehead Institute
  • Weinberg's page at MIT
  • Weinberg Lab
  • Bob Weinberg Playlist Appearance on WMBR's Dinnertime Sampler radio show March 17, 2004
  • American ScientistWeinberg interviewed in
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