Director of National Institutes of Health To Speak at Yale On the Topic of "Mice Genes and Cancer"

Nobel laureate Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Institutes of Health, NIH, will present a lecture as the Jonathan Edwards College, JE, Tetelman Fellow on Monday, March 3, at noon in the School of Medicine’s Harkness Auditorium, 333 Cedar St. He will speak on the topic “Mice Genes and Cancer.” Dr. Varmus also will be the guest at 3:30 p.m. that day at a tea at the JE master’s house, 68 High St. Both events are free and open to the public.

Dr. Varmus is an internationally recognized authority on retroviruses and the genetic basis of cancer. He has held the NIH directorship since November 1993, the first Nobel laureate to serve in that capacity. He was previously professor of microbiology, biochemistry and biophysics, and the American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of California, San Francisco, UCSF.

Dr. Varmus and his UCSF colleague Dr. J. Michael Bishop shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for demonstrating that cancer genes or oncogenes can arise from normal cellular genes, called proto-oncogenes. In recent years, Dr. Varmus’s work has assumed special relevance to breast cancer through investigation of mammary tumors in mice, and to AIDS through a focus on biochemical properties of HIV. In 1986, he chaired the subcommittee of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses that named the virus that causes AIDS.

Dr. Varmus has served on a variety of review and advisory boards for government agencies, scientific organizations and private companies, and also has shared his expertise with such bodies as the Board of Biology for the National Research Council, which he chaired, and the Congressional Caucus for Biomedical Research, for which he served as adviser. He is author or editor of more than 300 scientific papers and four books, the most recent of which is “Genes and the Biology of Cancer,” coauthored with Robert Weinberg and geared towards a general audience.

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