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Joan Massagué to give Max Birnstiel Lecture

20 Apr 2022

The cancer biologist Joan Massagué, director of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, US), will give a Birnstiel Lecture on 28 April 2022. The Birnstiel Lectures are the IMP’s flagship lecture series and brings highly distinguished scientists to the Vienna BioCenter.

The IMP is looking forward to welcoming cancer biologist Joan Massagué, director of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Joan Massagué is a leading contributor to our understanding of signaling pathways and transcriptional programs that regulate normal cell behavior and cancer metastasis.

Joan Massagué will give his talk "Metastatic Cells and Ecosystems" at the IMP Lecture Hall at 11 a.m. on 28 April 2022. The lecture will be recorded and will be made publicly available at a later date.

Joan Massagué’s research comprises important contributions to developmental biology, tissue homeostasis, and cancer metastasis. In particular, he is recognized for his discoveries in TGF-β biology, which is widely considered a cornerstone for the understanding of cellular physiology. His work pioneered research on the delineation of the TGF-β signalling pathway and its mechanism of action from receptor activation to the regulation of key target genes. Moreover, Massagué demonstrated how TGF-β can be both a growth suppressor and promoter of metastasis.

Joan Massagué obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Barcelona in 1978. After four years of postdoctoral research at Brown University, he established his own lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1982. He joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 1989 and became the center’s director in 2014. Between 1990 and 2014, he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

In recognition of his achievements, Joan Massagué was elected member of distinguished organisations, including the US National Academy of Sciences (2000), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999), and the European Molecular Biology Organization (1998). He was presented with several prestigious awards, including the Passano Laureate Award (2007), the Vilcek Prize (2006), the Prince of Asturias Prize (2004), Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research (2016), and the Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research (2015).

Joan Massagué will be hosted by IMP group leader Anna Obenauf, who was a postdoctoral researcher in his lab prior to joining the IMP in 2016.

About the Birnstiel Lectures

The Birnstiel Lectures are the IMP’s prime seminar series, named after the late founding director of the institute. Five to six scientists - all distinguished leaders in their fields - are invited every year to deliver one of these outstanding lectures that are open to the public and invariably draw a large audience to the IMP.