Bert Vogelstein, M.D.

Clayton Professor of Oncology and Pathology and Co-Director of the Ludwig Institute at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

A pioneer in cancer genomics, Dr. Bert Vogelstein was the first scientist to elucidate the molecular basis of a common human cancer. In particular, he and his colleagues demonstrated that colorectal tumors result from the gradual accumulation of genetic alterations in specific oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.


Bert holds a B.A. (mathematics) from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

His group’s work on colorectal cancers forms the paradigm for much of modern cancer research, with profound implications for diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in the future. His early work on the nature of cancer genomes was dramatically confirmed when he and Thrive co-founder Kenneth W. Kinzler, Ph.D., led a team that was able to determine the sequence of every gene in colorectal, pancreatic, brain, breast and other cancers. Bert and Ken have used this information to design a new generation of screening tests for various cancer types. In the process, they invented the fundamental technologies used to identify rare mutations in clinical samples.

Bert is currently the Clayton Professor of Oncology and Pathology and co-director of the Ludwig Institute at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC) at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors and has held editorial positions at Science and The New England Journal of Medicine, among others. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his ground-breaking studies on the pathogenesis of human cancer, including the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, The Gairdner Foundation International Award in Science, the William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics and the Richard Lounsbery Award from the National Academy of Sciences.

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