Joan Massagué received his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Barcelona in 1978. He joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1982. In 1989 he became the Alfred P. Sloan Chair in Cancer Biology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is also Professor, Weill-Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Adjunct Director, Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine.
Dr. Massagué is a world leader in the signaling pathways and transcriptional programs that regulate normal cell behavior and cancer metastasis. He provided a direct explanation for how external signals block mammalian cell division. He identified the TGF receptors, their mechanism of signal transduction, and the central concept of how this pathway controls the cell cycle through CDK inhibitors, and cell fate through chromatin readers. These mechanisms are now known to be crucial in embryonic development, and their disruption causes congenital disorders and cancer. Dr. Massagué recently identified genes and mechanisms of metastasis to different organs, providing a new conceptual basis for the metastatic process. This work is opening new avenues for the treatment of cancer.
Dr. Massagué is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. Noteworthy recognitions include the Passano Prize, the Vilcek Prize, the BBVA Frontiers of Science Prize, the Pasarow Prize, and the Prince of Asturias Prize.
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