Professor Doug Hanahan, Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research and Professor of Molecular Oncology, School of Life Sciences, The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne.
Douglas Hanahan, PhD, is Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (Suisse de Recherche Expérimentale sur le Cancer, ISREC), and Professor of Molecular Oncology in the School of Life Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL). Hanahan received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1976, and a PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University in 1983, where he was elected to the prestigious position of Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. He worked at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, first as a graduate student and then as a faculty member. Subsequently he spent twenty years as a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco before moving to EPFL in 2009. In the mid-1980’s Hanahan helped pioneer the genetic engineering of mice that were heritably endowed to develop organ-specific cancers that mimicked human cancers. His research program has centered ever since on using such mouse models of human cancer first to investigate the mechanisms by which tumors develop, and then to identify and flight test targeted therapies aimed at disrupting key functions inside tumors and thereby prevent disease progression. A strategic goal is to incentivize and guide clinical trials of new drugs and regimens with promise to improve the treatment of human cancers. Hanahan’s accomplishments have been recognized by his election to several honorific societies, as a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2007), and as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies (2008), of the US National Academy of Science (2009), and of the European Molecular Biology Organization (2010).