Brief Chronology

  • 1939 --Born in Oceanside, New York, December 18
  • 1961 --AB degree magna cum laude in English, Amherst College
  • 1962 --MA in English Literature, Harvard University
  • 1966 --Received MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University
  • 1968 --Performed his first original scientific research as a member of Ira Pastan's laboratory at the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, National Institutes of Health
  • 1969 --Married Constance Casey, a journalist and book critic
  • 1970 --Began long-term collaborative research on cancer-causing retroviruses with J. Michael Bishop at the University of California, San Francisco
  • 1976 --Published article with Bishop and Dominique Stehelin in Nature reporting that a cancer-causing gene in an avian retrovirus shows close similarity to a gene in normal, non-cancerous cells of several species of birds, the foundation of the theory that cancer results from mutations in genes of normal cells
  • 1982 --Shared Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research with Bishop for their studies of the nature and control of oncogenes
  • 1985-86 --Chaired scientific advisory committee that proposed the name human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for the etiologic agent of AIDS
  • 1989 --Shared Nobel Prize with J. Michael Bishop "for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes"
  • 1993 --Nominated by President William Jefferson Clinton as director of the National Institutes of Health
  • 1999 --Became involved in the ethical and political debate over embryonic stem cell research in his role as NIH Director
  • 2000 --Became president and director of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York
  • 2010 --Became director of the National Cancer Institute, July 12
  • 2015 --Resigned as director of the National Cancer Institute, March 31