Haymakers For Hope via Crowdrise
September 17, 2012
A founding Member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA , Dr. Robert A. Weinberg is a pioneer in cancer research, most widely known for his discoveries of the first human oncogene—a gene that causes normal cells to form tumors—and the first tumor suppressor gene.
Dr. Weinberg’s laboratory explores the fundamental biology of cancer, with a particular emphasis on illuminating the mechanisms by which cancer metastasizes, or spreads—a process that accounts for approximately 90% of cancer-related deaths. In recent years, his groundbreaking research has contributed enormously to our understanding of the role that “cancer stem cells” play in metastasis. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are self-renewing cells found in tumors that exhibit many of the properties of adult stem cells. In recent research, the Weinberg lab has investigated why CSCs are often resistant to chemotherapies (even when those treatments succeed in eradicating the vast majority of a tumor’s cells) and capable of spreading and seeding new tumors in different parts of the body. Dr. Weinberg’s research is generating insights into this process that promise to both dramatically enhance our understanding of cancer biology and point to potential cancer therapies
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