Actions of MIT’s 15th president have ‘grown to inspire generations,’ Reif says.
Dr. Robert A. Weinberg, a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, has been named the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at MIT.
The appointment was announced by Dean of Science Robert J. Birgeneau. At the same time, Assistant Professor Tyler E. Jacks was named a Daniel K. Ludwig Scholar for Cancer Research.
These appointments are supported by an endowment from the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research. The total bequest will eventually support two additional chairs, graduate fellowships and a UROP fund, all for cancer research.
"We are pleased to have MIT's role in cancer research recognized by Mr. Ludwig's generosity," Dean Birgeneau said. "We are especially gratified that a portion of the funds will be used to support undergraduate research."
Mr. Ludwig, a real estate magnate and founder of National Bulk Carriers, directed the major portion of his estate toward cancer research, making bequests to Harvard, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford, the University of Chicago and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as well as MIT. All of the recipients besides MIT are teaching hospitals or have medical schools affiliated with teaching hospitals.
Dr. Weinberg is the author or editor of five books and more than 250 articles. His two most recent books, intended for a lay audience, are Racing to the Beginning of the Road: The Search for the Origin of Cancer and Genes and the Biology of Cancer, co-authored with Dr. Harold E. Varmus, director of the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Among Dr. Weinberg's many honors and awards are the Discover Magazine 1982 Scientist of the Year, the National Academy of Sciences/US Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology, the Sloan Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, the Harvey Prize from the American Society for Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and the Gairdner Foundation International Award. He serves on scientific advisory boards for the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, the Weizmann Institute in Rehovoth, Israel, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Weinberg received the SB in 1964 and PhD in1969 from MIT, both in biology. He did postdoctoral research at the Weizmann Institute and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, and returned to MIT in 1972. In 1982, he was appointed professor of biology and also became one of the five original members of the Whitehead Institute. He has been an American Cancer Society Research Professor at Whitehead and MIT since 1985.
Dr. Jacks, a graduate of Harvard with a PhD in microbiology from the University of California at San Francisco, recently received the 18th annual Cornelius P. Rhoads Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research. He is also affiliated with the Center for Cancer Research.
Dr. Jacks is an assistant investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and serves on the research advisory board of the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation. He is co-chair of the National Neurofibro-matosis International Consortium of the Molecular Biology of NF1 and NF2.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 9, 1997.