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Fellows Directory

Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop

Professor Michael Bishop ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2008


J. Michael Bishop is a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who has helped to improve scientific understanding on the origins of cancer. His work revealed that the transforming oncogene — a gene in certain viruses that has the potential to cause a tumour — of the Rous sarcoma retrovirus was derived from a normal cellular gene that regulates the growth and division of cells.

His work in this area helped to explain how tumours are formed through changes to a cell’s genes via mechanisms such as exposure to chemicals and ionizing radiation or viral infection. Michael’s later work involved the modelling of tumours in mice, using a modified Myc oncogene.

In recognition of his work on retroviral oncogenes, Michael was a joint recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He has received many other accolades, including the Dickson Prize in Medicine in 1986, the Public Service Award of the American Society for Cell Biology in 1998 and the US National Medal of Science in 2003.

Professional positions

, The GW Hooper Research Foundation, University of California, San Francisco


  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    Jointly with Harold E. Varmus for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes.

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