Marguerite Vogt

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Marguerite Vogt
Vogt in 1938
Born(1913-02-13)13 February 1913
Died6 July 2007(2007-07-06) (aged 94)
Alma materUniversity of Berlin (MD)
Scientific career
FieldsBiology, virology
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology

Marguerite Vogt (13 February 1913 – 6 July 2007) was a cancer biologist and virologist. She was most noted for her research on polio and cancer at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Early life[edit]

Vogt was born in Germany in 1913. The youngest daughter of Oskar Vogt and French-born Cécile Vogt-Mugnier, Vogt took her M.D. degree from the University of Berlin in 1937.[1][2] Her parents were prominent neuroscientists and she grew up in an intense scientific environment.[1][2] Her older sister, Marthe Vogt (1903–2003) was a neuropharmacologist who became a fellow of the Royal Society and a professor at Cambridge.


Vogt joined her parents at a private institute in Neustadt, the Black Forest, where the family lived for the duration of World War II; there, she worked extensively on Drosophila development.[1][2][3] She published over 30 papers on the ring gland and homeotic mutants.[4]

Vogt moved to the California Institute of Technology in 1950 to work with Max Delbrück. He introduced her to Renato Dulbecco, a junior faculty member in the division of biology[5] and together, Vogt and Dulbecco worked on methods to culture poliovirus. They were the first to successfully grow the virus in vitro and were able to plaque purify it, an essential step for subsequent vaccine production.[1][2][5] Vogt's technical abilities as a cell culturist were critical to this work. This resulted in a classic paper.[6] They next turned their attention to cancer causing viruses, beginning with the polyoma virus. They were able to culture this virus and examine its latency, resulting in another classic study.[7]

Dulbecco was recruited to the newly founded Salk Institute for Biological Studies in 1963, and Vogt joined him as a research fellow in his group.[1][2][5] They continued their work on tumor-causing viruses. However, their interests diverged, and in 1973, Vogt was appointed as a research professor which was an independent position that allowed her to pursue her interest in origins of cancer.[3] Her interests evolved to examining cellular immortalization in cancer cells, and the role of telomeres in this process. She published her last paper in 1998.

Vogt made significant contributions as a scientist in multiple areas: as a Drosophila developmental geneticist, as a virologist working with Nobel laureate Renato Dulbecco, and as an investigator into viral transformation and cellular immortalization. Moreover, she was an influential mentor and colleague to many junior scientists, among them several future Nobel laureates.[1][2][3] Her work was never recognized by a major prize, though this is widely viewed as an oversight. She was noted for her dedication, and was busy in her lab even into her 80s.

She died July 6, 2007, at her home in La Jolla, California, aged 94.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Angier, Natalie (April 10, 2001). "SCIENTIST AT WORK -- Marguerite Vogt; A Lifetime Later, Still in Love With the Lab". The New York Times. pp. D1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Haas, M.; Lewis, E.B. (1998). "Cover Legend". Cancer Research. 58 (1): ix.
  3. ^ a b c Forsburg, Susan. "Remembering Marguerite Vogt". Retrieved 2012-03-10.
  4. ^ Jones, Davy. "Marguerite Vogt Tribute Site". Retrieved 2007-07-20.
  5. ^ a b c "Interview with Renato Dulbecco: Caltech Oral History". January 2001. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
  6. ^ Dulbecco, R.; Vogt, M. (1954). "Plaque Formation and Isolation of Pure Lines with Poliomyelitis Viruses". J. Exp. Med. 99 (2): 167–182. doi:10.1084/jem.99.2.167. PMC 2180341. PMID 13130792.
  7. ^ Vogt, M.; Dulbecco, R. (1960). "Virus-Cell Interaction with a Tumor-Producing Virus". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 46 (3): 365–70. Bibcode:1960PNAS...46..365V. doi:10.1073/pnas.46.3.365. PMC 222842. PMID 16578494.
  8. ^ "Longtime Salk Researcher Marguerite Vogt Dies" (Press release). The Salk Institute. 2007-07-06. Archived from the original on 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2007-08-02.

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