Harold E. Varmus is President of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He previously has served as the director of the National Institutes of Health and served on the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco where he and Dr. J. Michael Bishop and their co-workers demonstrated the cellular origins of the oncogene of a chicken retrovirus. This discovery led to the isolation of many cellular genes that normally control growth and development and are frequently mutated in human cancer. For this work, Bishop and Varmus received many awards, including the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He is also widely recognized for his studies of the replication cycles of retroviruses and hepatitis B viruses, the functions of genes implicated in cancer, and the development of mouse models for human cancer. Dr. Varmus received his M.D. from Columbia University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.
George D. Yancopoulos is President of Regeneron Laboratories, Inc. and Chief Scientific Officer/Senior Vice President of Research, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He has served on the faculty of Columbia University and New York Medical College. Dr. Yancopoulos’ diverse work in the growth factor field is tied together by his continuing insights that serve to provide useful unifying models, and by his attempts to uncover therapeutically promising agents. Essentially all the discoveries of Dr. Yancopoulos and his group are moving towards the clinic—whether it be neurotrophic factors in neurological diseases and obesity, cytokine antagonists in immunologic disorders such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, or angiogenic regulators in cancer and vascular disease. He received both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University.