Best known as one of three researchers who isolated, for the first time, a human oncogene, H-Ras, Dr. Barbacid is an international leader in studies involving the molecular basis of cancer. Ras oncogenes have now been implicated in approximately one-fifth of all human cancers, including those with especially poor prognoses such as non-small-cell lung carcinoma and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. His work on Ras oncogenes and the possibility that they could be targeted chemically led to a decade-long leadership position in the pharmaceutical industry, where he worked to fast-track approval of new drugs.
Dr. Barbacid conducted most of his research in the United States until 1998 when he returned to his native Spain to establish the new Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (Spanish National Cancer Research Center), where he served as its first director until 2011. In this capacity, he recruited scientists from all over the world for the new center, which in just 10 years became one of the leading research institutions in Europe.
Dr. Barbacid continues his quest to validate molecular targets in Ras-driven tumors using sophisticated genetic approaches in genetically engineered mouse models with the ultimate goal of developing therapeutic strategies that, in the not too distant future, may prove useful in the clinic.
2018 Fulbright Award, Madrid
2017 Burkitt Medal, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
2012 Elected Foreign Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
2011 Endowed Chair on Molecular Oncology, AXA Research Fund, Paris
2007 Medal of Honor, International Agency for Cancer Research
2005 Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Cancer Research Prize, Zurich
2004 Elected Member, Academia Europea, London
1996 Elected Member, European Molecular Biology Organization
1994 Ipsen Prize, Paris
1989-1992 Board of Directors, AACR
1988 Joseph Steiner Prize, Bern
1986 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research
1984 King Juan Carlos I Award, Madrid
1983 Distinguished Young Scientist, Maryland Academy of Sciences
1974 PhD, Universidad Complutense, Madrid