George F. Vande Woude, PhD

George F. Vande Woude, PhD
Distinguished Scientific Fellow, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan

George F. Vande Woude, PhD | Class of 2013

A leader in cancer cell and molecular biology research, Dr. Vande Woude has focused his career on understanding what causes cancer at the molecular level. His laboratory initially focused on cloning integrated copies of acute transforming retroviruses and comparing their resulting cancer-causing gene (oncogenes) copy numbers with copies of normal genes (protooncogenes). These studies have helped the understanding of how normal protooncogenes becomes activated and oncogenic. In subsequent studies, Dr. Vande Woude isolated and identified sequences called long-terminal repeats (LTRs) found in DNA following retroviral infection and showed that enhancers within LTRs promote gene expression.

Dr. Vande Woude later discovered the human MET oncogene and protooncogene and characterized the protein as a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK). This work involving MET led to the identification of the receptor’s ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and the observation that aberrant expression of HGF and MET are capable of stimulating carcinogenesis. In recent years, the c-MET field has undergone enormous growth based on the potential of MET as a therapeutic target.

Career Highlights

2010 Daniel Nathans Memorial Award
2009 Distinguished Scientific Fellow, Van Andel Research Institute
2006-Present Chair, Council of Scientific Advisors, AACR
2006 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2001-2004 Board of Directors, AACR
1999 Founding Research Director, Van Andel Research Institute
1997 Elected Member, American Academy of Microbiology
1993 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
1992 Lifetime Achievement Award in Technology Transfer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
1990 Founding Editor, Cell Growth & Differentiation
1989 Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award for Cancer Research
1985 Founder and President, Foundation for Advanced Cancer Studies
1983-1998 Director of the ABL-Basic Research Program, National Cancer Institute
1982 National Institutes of Health Merit Award
1964 PhD, Rutgers University