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Gerard I. Evan, PhD, FRS

Gerard I. Evan, PhD, FRS

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Class of 2019

A prominent authority in cancer research, Dr. Evan has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of the molecular underpinnings of cancer including uncovering the dichotomy of the Myc protein as an inducer of both cell proliferation and cell death. He collaborated on identifying the protein product of the c-Myc gene and developed an anti-serum that has been widely used in immuno-assays to detect p62 c-Myc. Specifically, he discovered that Myc could induce cell death via apoptosis, an observation that challenged previous work indicating that Myc functioned solely as an oncogene. Dr. Evan demonstrated that c-Myc expression promotes apoptotic cell death in Rat-1 fibroblasts and that this form of cell growth arrest occurs independent of cell cycle phase. 

Additionally, Dr. Evan is heralded for generating inducible mouse models that recapitulate the pharmacologic inhibition of Myc and the pharmacological restoration of p53, both of which serve as valuable tools to identify effective therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. The p53ER(TAM) inducible knock-in mouse model was generated to conditionally express p53 only in the presence of 4-hydroxytamoxifen, rendering a rapid perturbation model that is easily manipulated to control p53 expression. This model has since contributed to the molecular understanding of p53 function and the therapeutic potential of p53 reactivation. More recently, Dr. Evan’s research has been focused on investigating the role of MYC in angiogenesis, inflammation and immune suppression in order to drive tumorigenesis by cooperating with Ras in the tumor microenvironment

Career Highlights

2015 Elected Fellow, European Academy of Cancer Sciences
2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, European Cell Death Organization
2010 Elected Fellow, Christ’s College
2009 Wolfson Research Merit Award, The Royal Society
2005 Elected Fellow, European Academy of Sciences
2004 Elected Fellow, The Royal Society
1999 Elected Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences
1996 Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award, Swiss Oncology Society
1996 Elected Member, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
1995 Pfizer Prize for Biology, Pfizer Inc.
1981 Max Perutz Prize, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology