Dr. Harold Varmus has been studying cancer—a tricky and dangerous foe— for nearly five decades. He and his colleague Michael Bishop won the Nobel Prize for their groundbreaking discovery that cancer is not just a mysterious mass attacking the body, but a disease of the genome. This revelation opened floods of new research, and Dr. Varmus went on to become the director of the National Institutes of Health and later the National Cancer Institute, helping reshape America’s biomedical research agenda and public health policy.
Today, Harold Varmus is back in the lab (not that he ever really left). While people overall are living longer after a cancer diagnosis than they did when his career began, cures for most cancers are still elusive. Worldwide over 8 million people die of cancer every year and in many U.S. states, cancer is the #1 cause of death. As the battle against cancer rages on, new computational and genomic technologies are making Dr. Varmus’s historic research more relevant than ever, offering unprecedented opportunities to develop advances in treatment.
At the next Secret Science Club, Dr. Varmus asks: How will individualized genetic profiles—or precision medicine—affect the future of cancer research and care? Will Big Data and new DNA sequencing technology be the tipping point in the war on cancer? What cancer therapies, diagnostic tools, and prevention strategies may be in our future?
The co-winner of the Nobel Prize for pioneering research on the genetic origins of cancer and recipient of the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, Dr. Harold Varmus joined the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College as the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine in 2015. Previously, he was Director of the National Cancer Institute (2010 -2015), President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (2000 – 2010), Director of the National Institutes of Health (1993 – 1999), and Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics at UC San Francisco (1979 –1993). The author of over 350 scientific papers and five books, he was co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, co-founder of the Public Library of Science, and chair of the Scientific Board of the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health.
Before & After: Sample our cocktail of the night, the Scientific Method; groove to beats you can feel on a cellular level; and stick around for the scintillating Q&A
This multicellular edition of the Secret Science Club, the 2016 Lasker Public Lecture in honor of Al Sommer, is sponsored by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. The Foundation works to foster the prevention and treatment of disease and disabilities by honoring excellence in basic and clinical science, educating the public, and advocating for support of medical research.Yeah!
The next Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, August 9, 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave, R to 9th St.
Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self.