Robert Weinberg

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.


He is best known for his discoveries of the first human oncogene Ras and the first tumor suppressor gene Rbp. 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, that gave the six requirements for one renegade cell to cause a deadly cancer: In 2011, they published an updated review article entitled "Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation".

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.

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. 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. 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.


  • 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): 143â€"149. doi:10.1038/300143a0. PMID 6290897. 
  • Shih, C. and Weinberg, R.A. (1982). "Isolation of a transforming sequence from a human bladder carcinoma cell line". Cell 29 (1): 161â€"169. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(82)90100-3. PMID 6286138. 
  • 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): 464â€"468. doi:10.1038/22780. PMID 10440377. 
  • 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): 704â€"15. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2008.03.027. PMC 2728032. PMID 18485877. 
  • Weinberg, Robert (2007). The Biology of Cancer. Garland Science (published 2006). ISBN 9780815340768. OCLC 63114199. 


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