Philip Leder, MD

Philip Leder, MD
Professor Emeritus, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Philip Leder, MD | Class of 2013

An internationally celebrated geneticist, Dr. Leder’s fundamental discoveries involving the genetic causes of carcinogenesis have propelled innumerable successes in such scientific fields as cancer genetics, molecular biology, tumor biology, and biochemistry, among others.

Dr. Leder is well known for his initial studies with Marshall Nirenberg of the genetic code and the genetic basis of protein coding and production. He is also credited with the first attempt to genetically engineer a mouse model of cancer, initially termed “oncomouse,” and the subsequent first U.S. patent of an animal. These pioneering studies were the first ever conducted whereby known cancer-causing genes were experimentally injected into mice to research the resulting cancer type. They proved to be the catalyst for the exponential increase in experimental use of transgenic mouse models that followed and other advances in understanding cancer, its causes, and its treatment.

Career Highlights

2003 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2000 Albert Einstein Memorial Lecturer, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
1997 William Allan Medal, American Society of Human Genetics
1990 Heineken Prize, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
1989 U. S. National Medal of Science, National Science Foundation
1987 Albert Lasker Medical Research Award
1986 Senior Researcher, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
1981 Dickson Prize in Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
1980 Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
1979 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
1972 Director, Laboratory for Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Health
1960 MD, Harvard Medical School