American Association for Cancer Research

AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship

Supported by the Irving Weinstein Foundation, this lectureship has been established to acknowledge an individual whose outstanding innovations in science and whose position as a thought leader have the potential to inspire creative thinking and new directions in cancer research.

This lectureship is selected by the AACR president, and is not open to nomination.
David Botstein, Ph.D.  10th Annual Award Recipient
David Botstein, Ph.D.
Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics
Princeton University
Princeton, N.J.


Dr. Botstein will deliver his award lecture titled Evolution and Cancer at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 in San Diego, Calif. The award ceremony and lecture will be held Saturday, April 5, 2014, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the San Diego Convention Center. Visit the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 page for more information.

  •  View list of all past lectureship recipients.

As one of the principal scientists responsible for unlocking the human genome, Dr. Botstein’s work has revolutionized our understanding of the genetic basis of human disease. In the early 1980’s he proposed building a map of human disease genes using DNA polymorphisms, laying the groundwork for the new science of genomics and the foundation for what would become the Human Genome Project. His techniques have been especially important for studying inherited diseases and have led to the identification of disease genes such as that for Huntington’s disease and the BRCA1 gene. 

In addition to his genomic work, Dr. Botstein contributed to the discovery of transposons in bacteria and the understanding of their physical and genetic properties. He developed methods to study the eukaryotic cytoskeleton in yeast to detect gene interactions and co-founded the saccharomyces genome database. His lab has collaborated in applying microarray technology to study genome-wide gene expression to define subtypes of human tumors. He collaborated as well on developing the statistical method and graphical interface widely used to interpret genomic data, and helped create the gene ontology.  

A noted educator, Dr. Botstein has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and directed the Lewis-Sigler Institute at Princeton. He is also credited with establishing a new introductory science curriculum at Princeton that combines biology, physics, chemistry, and computer science. He has recently helped fund innovative curricula in technology-advanced teaching laboratories at various institutions.  

Dr. Botstein has received numerous awards and honors including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Dan David Prize, the Albany Medical Center Prize, the Gruber Prize in Genetics, the Rosenstiel Award, the Allen Award from the American Society for Human Genetics, the Genetics Society Medal and the Eli Lily Award. He is also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Botstein was educated at Harvard (A.B. 1963) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D. 1967). He taught at MIT (1967-1987); became vice president at Genentech (1987-1990), and then chairman of genetics at Stanford (1990-2003). He became director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute at Princeton University in 2003. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1981) and the Institute of Medicine (1993).