Richard O. Hynes, PhD

Richard O. Hynes, PhD
Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Richard O. Hynes, PhD | Class of 2014

Dr. Hynes is known worldwide for his research into uncovering the molecular basis for cell adhesion and for recognizing that changes in cell adhesion can alter cell function and contribute to human diseases, including cancer. He has played a vital role in characterizing the components that constitute the extracellular matrix of both normal and cancerous cells. This research has led to his discoveries of the fibronectin family of proteins and the large family of integrin proteins, both of which have been essential to the understanding of cellular adhesion and motility.

His research has provided great insights into the molecular mechanisms by which cell adhesion controls normal cellular functions as well as numerous natural processes, including blood clotting, wound healing, and immune system elimination of disease-causing pathogens. His work has been instrumental in unraveling the roles of altered cell adhesion in thrombosis, the inappropriate formation of a blood clot that obstructs blood flow, leukocyte traffic, angiogenesis and invasion and metastasis of malignant cancer cells. Dr. Hynes’ current research continues to focus on the role of cell adhesion in cancer, particularly metastases, which are responsible for 90 percent of all cancer deaths.

Career Highlights

​2012  Distinguished Investigator Award, International Society for Matrix Biology
2010  Earl P. Bennett Award, North American Vascular Biology Organization
2007  Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Medical Research Award in Cancer Research
2007  E. B. Wilson Medal, American Society for Cell Biology
2004  Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute
1997  Canada Gairdner International Award
1996  Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
1996  Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
1994  Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1989  Elected Fellow, The Royal Society, London
1987  Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1971  PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology