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Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD

Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD

Institute for Cancer Genetics
Columbia University
New York, New York

Class of 2017

Celebrated for his seminal discoveries in elucidating the underlying molecular and genetic drivers of various lymphomas, Dr. Dalla-Favera is regarded as one of the world’s leading cancer geneticists and lymphoma researchers. He is renowned for his research involving the discovery of proto-oncogenes involved in the development of human cancer.

Dr. Dalla-Favera’s research began with the identification and cloning of human proto-oncogenes, including c-MYC. He then provided the first evidence that tumor-associated chromosomal translocations involve proto-oncogenes by showing that c-MYC is involved in the translocation associated with Burkitt lymphoma. These findings have been vital to understanding the basic mechanism of oncogene activation in human tumors.

His research continues to focus on the pathogenesis of human B cell lymphomas. His group has identified the proto-oncogene BCL6 as a key regulator of normal B cell development as well as the target of common genetic lesions in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). More recently, using next generation sequencing technology, he has provided the first insight into the landscape of genetic lesions associated with DLBCL. His findings have been followed up by functional characterization of the role of individual genetic lesions as well as by the construction of mouse models recapitulating several human B cell malignancies.

The molecular lesions identified by Dr. Dalla-Favera have led to the development of diagnostic tests and are now being tested as targets in lymphoma-focused clinical trials. His work has been, and continues to be, widely quoted in scientific publications and in medicine and oncology textbooks.

Career Highlights

2017 AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award
2015 Burkitt Medal, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
2015 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
2012 Alfred G. Knudson Award for Excellence in Cancer Genetics, National Cancer Institute
2010 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
2010 San Salvatore Foundation Prize
2008 Sir John Dacie Lecture Award, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
2006 Dameshek Prize, American Society of Hematology
2005 American-Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine
1998 Elected Member, American Association of Physicians
1989/2002 MERIT Award, National Institutes of Health
1987 Stohlman Award, Leukemia Society of America
1986 Milano Medicina Senior Award for Biomedical Research
1986 President’s Research Development Award, Leukemia Society of America