John Michael Bishop

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John Michael Bishop

John Michael Bishop , called Michael Bishop, (born February 22, 1936 in York , Pennsylvania ) is an American virologist , cancer researcher and microbiologist.

In 1982 he received the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and in 1984 the Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize . In 1989 he received along with Harold E. Varmus the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral carcinogenic genes ( oncogenes )," which they had proven that also called in healthy cells potentially cancer-causing genes, proto-oncogenes, are present.


Bishop studied chemistry at Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania and received his doctorate (MD) in medicine from Harvard University in 1962 . From 1964 to 1968 he was a virologist at the National Institutes of Health ( National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ). He then spent a year at the Heinrich Pette Institute in Hamburg before moving to the University of California, San Francisco in 1968 . In 1972 he was given a full professorship there. Today he is director of the Bishop Lab there. From 1998 to 2009 he was the university's chancellor.

His main areas of work are retroviruses and oncogenes . He discovered Varmus, the first human oncogene, c-Src , in the 1980s . He also investigated numerous other oncogenes and their precursors in normal cells (proto-oncogenes) and their role in normal and cancer cells and developed models of a number of different types of cancer in mice as experimental animals.

The National Academy of Sciences made him a member in 1980. In 1984 Bishop received a Gairdner Foundation International Award and was accepted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . Since 1993 he has been an external member of the Academia Europaea . In 1995 he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society , and in 1996 he was President of the American Society for Cell Biology . In 2003 he received the National Medal of Science . In 2008 he became a member of the Royal Society .

See also rous sarcoma virus , oncovirus .


  • Cancer genes. In: Spectrum of Science . May 1982
  • How to win the Nobel Prize, an unexpected life in science. Harvard University Press 2004
  • Cellular Oncogenes and Retroviruses. In: Annual Review Biochemistry. Volume 52, 1983, pp. 301-354
  • Proto-Oncogenes: Clues to the puzzle of purpose. In: Nature . Volume 316, 1985, p. 483


Individual evidence


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