Joan S. Brugge, PhD
Louise Foote Pfeiffer Professor of Cell Biology; Director, Ludwig Center; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
A pioneer in the field of cancer biology, Dr. Brugge has devoted her career to proving how disturbances in normal cellular processes give rise to cancer. From her early isolation of the protein encoded by the src transforming gene of Rous sarcoma virus, to the evolving understanding of the cellular processes and pathways responsible for the initiation and progression of epithelial tumors, to the use of three-dimensional culture conditions to reveal significant changes in the organization of normal tissue associated with cancer, hers has been a lifelong journey to discover how cells regulate the mechanisms that contribute to human carcinogenesis. Dr. Brugge’s laboratory team is currently studying multiple aspects of tumor cell biology in order to identify vulnerabilities of tumor cells that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention and to develop startegies to overcome mechanisms that drive therapy resistance. In addition, her group is investigating the nature of cooperative interactions between tumor cell populations and mutual dependencies among tumor cell variants and how these affect tumor expansion or metastasis. Dr. Brugge has recently assumed leadership of the Ludwig Center at Harvard, a collaborative initiative that is focused on developing new strategies to overcome cancer therapy resistance. Dr. Brugge takes pride in the accomplishments of her group at Harvard and especially enjoys the mentoring process. In an interview for AACR’s Cancer Discovery, she stated that she encourages her fellows to be independent thinkers and empowers them to follow their ideas wherever they may lead them.
2014 Director, Ludwig Center, Harvard Medical School 2014 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction2013 The Bloomingdale's Award, Breast Cancer Research Foundation2012 Komen Scholar, Scientific Advisory Board, Susan B. Komen®2011-2014 Board of Directors, AACR2011 AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research2004-2014 Chair, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School 2002 Senior Career Recognition Award, American Society of Cell Biology2001 American Cancer Society Research Professor2001 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine2001 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC2000 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences1986 MERIT Award, National Institutes of Health1975 PhD, Baylor College of Medicine