In This Section
Bert Vogelstein, MD

Bert Vogelstein, MD

Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

Class of 2013

A pioneer in cancer genetics, Dr. Vogelstein has transformed cancer research through his work on colorectal tumors. In 1988, he proposed that cancers are the result of the sequential accumulation of mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. This model forms the paradigm for much of modern cancer research, with profound implications for both diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Vogelstein has received many accolades for his discovery that p53, a protein at the time thought to possess oncogenic properties, was in fact a tumor suppressor that was genetically altered in the majority of human tumors. He subsequently identified the mechanism through which p53 suppresses tumorigenesis by revealing that p53 bound to specific DNA sequences, stimulates the expression of adjacent genes. Continued research into colorectal tumor pathogenesis led Dr. Vogelstein and long-time colleague Kenneth W. Kinzler to the discovery of many of the other genes responsible for human cancer. In 2006-2008, they and their colleagues published the first four genome-wide sequencing studies of cancer, ushering in a new era of personalized, genomic-based medicine. Dr. Vogelstein has most recently used the information gained from cancer genome sequencing to advance another research area that he pioneered – genetic alterations that are responsible for cancer can be employed as biomarkers for the early detection of cancer.

Career Highlights

2021 Japan Prize, The Japan Prize Foundation
2017 AACR Team Science Award (Liquid Biopsy Initiative Team)
2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
2012 AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award
2011 The Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research
2004 Prince of Asturias Award in Science
2001 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
2000 Charles S. Mott Prize, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation
1998 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, Paul Ehrlich Foundation
1998 William Allan Award, American Society of Human Genetics
1995 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology
1993 Richard Lounsbery Award, National Academy of Sciences
1993 Baxter Award, Association of American Medical Colleges
1992 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1992 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
1992 Gairdner Foundation International Award
1990 Bristol Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research