Researching Human Diseases through Animal Models
The Whitehead Institute


Innovations in Cancer Research - When Whitehead Member Robert Weinberg demonstrated that cancer is the result of genetic machinery gone awry, he revolutionized the way scientists think about the origins of cancer. Weinberg and his colleagues discovered the first human oncogenes and the first tumor suppressor gene, and in 1999, they were the first to create engineered human cancer cells for research use. More recently, his laboratory created the first model of human breast cancer in mice. His findings that cancer is a multi-step process, characterized by mutations in several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, has greatly impacted drug discovery.