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Geoffrey M. Wahl, PhD

Geoffrey M. Wahl, PhD

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla, California

Class of 2013

A widely recognized expert in understanding the genetic instability of cancer cells and why tumors become resistant to drugs, Dr. Wahl’s group showed that such instability often results from mutations in key tumor suppressor genes such as p53. His group’s investigations of p53 regulation are designed to translate basic knowledge to the clinic to enable p53 to be activated in the numerous tumors in which its activity is compromised.

Dr. Wahl’s collaborative research includes work aimed at breaking down the protective barriers that prevent drug effectiveness in pancreatic cancer. Recently, his group has discovered links between embryonic breast stem cells and stem-like cells in some of the most lethal breast cancers. This research is aimed at developing personalized therapeutic strategies based on the mammary embryonic stem cell-like gene signatures evident in many human breast cancers.

Career Highlights

2015 NCI Outstanding Investigator Award
2014 Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2012-2013 President, Cancer Biology Training Consortium
2012 Daniel and Martina Lewis Endowed Chair, The Salk Institute for Biological Sciences
2010-present Komen Scholar, Scientific Advisory Council
2008 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2008-present Board of Trustees, AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer
2007-present Scientific Advisory Board, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
2006-2007 President, AACR
2000-2003 Executive Committee, Integration Panel, Department of Defense Cancer Research Program
2000-2003 Board of Directors, American Association for Cancer Research
2002 San Diego Science Educators Award for Outstanding Contributions to Science Education
1989 Professor, The Salk Institute for Biological Sciences
1986 Citation classic designation for a most highly cited paper, 1962-1982
1976 PhD, Harvard University