Sir Michael R. Stratton, MBBS, PhD

Sir Michael R. Stratton, MBBS, PhD
Director, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Sir Michael R. Stratton, MBBS, PhD | Class of 2014

An internationally acclaimed expert in cancer genetics and genomics, Dr. Stratton’s groundbreaking discoveries have revolutionized our understanding of cancer susceptibility as well as the role of individual genes in driving cancer. His pioneering research in these areas has had a major impact on the approaches taken to prevent and treat several types of cancer.

Early in his career, Dr. Stratton successfully mapped and identified the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2, a breakthrough that directly transformed the lives of thousands of women in families with a history of breast cancer. Along with the rise of human genome sequencing, Dr. Stratton shifted his interests from genetic cancer susceptibility to understanding the role of somatic genetic aberrations in cancer, and concordantly initiated the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Through his genome-wide sequencing studies, Dr. Stratton has identified numerous susceptibility genes and somatic mutations that drive a variety of human cancers, including specific mutations in the BRAF gene that have been linked to 60 percent of malignant melanomas. This remarkable discovery has since led to the development of BRAF inhibitors, which provide hope for many patients with melanoma. More recently, Dr. Stratton has employed powerful second-generation sequencing techniques to define the complex patterns of gene rearrangements and point mutations that exist in solid tumor genomes. These studies continue to lead to new insights into the process of human carcinogenesis.

Career Highlights

​​2013  AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research
2013  Knight Bachelor of the British Empire, Queen’s Birthday Honours
2013  AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award
2012  Ernst W. Bertner Award, MD Anderson Cancer Center
2010  C. Chester Stock Award Lectureship, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
2010  Lila Gruber Award for Cancer Research, American Academy of Dermatology
2008  Elected Fellow, The Royal Society, London
2008  Biomedicum Helsinki Medal
2002  Lennox K. Black International Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Research
2001  Tom Connors Award Lectureship, British Association for Cancer Research
1999  Elected Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences, London (hon)
1991  Fellow, Royal College of Pathologists
1989  PhD, Institute of Cancer Research, London
1982  MBBS, Guys Hospital, London