Joan Massagué Solé

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Joan Massagué
Joan Massagué, PhD, Chair of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.jpg
Born (1953-04-30)April 30, 1953
Barcelona, Spain
Fields cancer biology
Institutions Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Institute for Research in Biomedicine
Alma mater University of Barcelona, Brown University
Known for cancer metastasis

Joan Massagué Solé (born April 30, 1953 in Barcelona), is a Spanish scientist. He is the director of the Sloan-Kettering Institute and Chair of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. An internationally recognized leader in the study of both cancer metastasis and growth factors that regulate cell behavior, he is also a professor at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.


Born in Barcelona, Spain, on April 30, 1953, Massagué earned his doctorate degree in Pharmacy and Biochemistry at the University of Barcelona in 1978 under the mentorship of Professor Joan J. Guinovart. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in 1982 in the laboratory of Michael P. Czech, PhD, at Brown University, where he determined the composition of the receptor for the hormone insulin. Later that year, he became an assistant professor in Biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, where he initiated his work on cell growth control.[citation needed]

Massagué joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering in 1989 as the Alfred P. Sloan Chair of the Sloan-Kettering Institute’s Cell Biology Program and was named founding Chair of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program in 2003. In addition, he became[when?] the Director of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Metastasis Research Center.[citation needed]

He was an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1990 to 2013. In 2005 he became a Scientific Advisor at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona.[1] The following year, in 2006, he received the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science.[2] In 2008, Massagué received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biomedicine category, for elucidating one of the fundamental processes that control cell division.[3]

In 2013, Massagué was named Director of the Sloan-Kettering Institute.[4]

Scientific contributions[edit]

Massagué is credited for identifying the importance of TGFβ in cancer, and for identifying its receptors and the pathway through which it signals.[1] As of 2002 he had authored more than 300 scientific articles, and was the 39th most cited scientist in all areas of science between 1983 and 2002.[5] As of 2010 he had mentored and trained 12 graduate students and 70 postdoctoral fellows.[6]

As of 2015 his lab studied cancer metastasis and cell homeostasis, with a focus on the that signaling through TGFβ affects stem cells.[7]


  1. ^ a b Elizabath Davita-Raeburn for the HHMI Bulletin. August 2008. The Unintentional Scientist
  2. ^ "Joan Massagué Wins Vilcek Prize | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center". Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  3. ^ "BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards". Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  4. ^ [1], Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Rock Stars of Science
  7. ^ *Massague page at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center