Craig B. Thompson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Craig B. Thompson
Craig B. Thompson by Rick DeWitt.jpg
Born 1953
Alma mater
Scientific career

Craig B. Thompson (born 1953) is an American cell biologist and current president of the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center.[1]


Thompson became president and chief executive officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in November 2010. For the previous 11 years, Thompson was affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the university in 1999 as a professor of medicine, scientific director of The Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, and the first chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology. In 2006 he was named director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and associate vice president for cancer services of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.[citation needed]

Thompson received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and went on to earn his medical degree in 1977 from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He received clinical training in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and in medical oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center at the University of Washington. After completing his training, Thompson became a physician at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and an assistant professor of medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. In 1987, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan as an assistant professor of medicine and an assistant investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). From 1993 until he joined the University of Pennsylvania, he was affiliated with the University of Chicago, where he was professor of medicine, an HHMI investigator, and Director of the Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research.

Thompson currently serves as member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research, a member of the Lasker Award Jury, and Associate Editor of Cell, Immunity, and Cancer Cell. In the past, Thompson has served as the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Damon Runyon/Walter Winchell Cancer Foundation, Chairman of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute, and a member of the Experimental Immunology Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. Thompson holds a number of patents related to immunotherapy and apoptosis, and is a founder of three biotechnology companies. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Association of Physicians.[citation needed]

To date, Thompson has published more than 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts and more than 85 reviews. His laboratory undertakes basic research in the fields of cancer biology and immunology. This research has recently contributed to the resurgent interest in cancer cell metabolism and may form the basis for translational therapies to exploit the metabolic addictions exhibited by cancer cells.

He is married to Tullia Lindsten, also a cancer researcher.[1]

Scientific career[edit]

Thompson’s current research focuses on the role that metabolic changes play in the origin and progression of cancer. He has also done pioneering research on the genes that control programmed cell death apoptosis and how the misregulation of such genes can contribute to cancer.[2]

Thompson elucidated processes that shape lymphocyte development and immune system homeostasis. He demonstrated that Bcl-2 family members regulate intracellular membrane integrity, and also discovered the Bcl-2-related gene Bcl-xL, establishing that this gene family has pro-apoptotic, as well as anti-apoptotic, members.[3]

In earlier work he contributed to the development of innovative treatments for autoimmune diseases and leukemia. [4]

His later work has focused on the role of the genetic regulation of apoptosis. His current work focuses with the relationship between metabolic changes and the origin and progression of cancer.[5]

Dispute with University of Pennsylvania[edit]

In December 2011, The University and its Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute sued Thompson after his move to Sloan-Kettering, charging that he had made use of research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania to start a biotechnnology company, Agios Pharmaceuticals that Thompson had co-founded in 2007 while still at the University.[6]

The suit was settled with an agreement whose terms were not announced in detail, but which the New York Times considered to indicate would provide a financial benefit to the University of Pennsylvania only if there were actually commercially successful products.[7][8]


He is a member of both the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.


  1. ^ a b "Craig Thompson Named President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering". 1 October 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  5. ^ "Craig B. Thompson". Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pollack, Andrew (5 February 2012). "Sloan-Kettering Chief Is Accused of Taking Research". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Pollack, Andrew (31 August 2012). "Suits That Accused Sloan-Kettering Chief of Stealing Research Are Settled". Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Mytelka, Andrew (1 September 2012). "Penn and Cancer Institute Settle Lawsuits Accusing Scientist of Stealing Research". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 

External links[edit]