In 1985, as a professor of physiology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Lewis Cantley and his colleagues discovered the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway that determined much of his later career. Now, as a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, Cantley continues to investigate PI3K, the biochemical pathways that regulate normal mammalian cell growth, and the defects that cause cell transformation. In "From Kinase to Cancer," he discusses how the past two decades have illuminated the field of cancer research. "Approximately 20 years after we discovered PI3K as an enzymatic activity associated with oncoproteins, drugs that inhibit this enzyme have gone into clinical trials for cancer," says Cantley. "It is interesting to reflect on the long and sometimes tortuous pathway that led to the elucidation of the role of this enzyme in normal cell growth and in cancers."
Jack Woodall has been a columnist with The Scientist for...
The founding director of the Alden March Bioethics Institute, Glenn McGee has also been writing a column for The Scientist for two years. On our pages, he has explored ethical issues in science, from whether we should eliminate menstruation, when clinical trials can forgo consent, and how to fix the current quarantine system to contain infectious disease. McGee is a member of The Scientist's editorial board and he is the editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Bioethics. This month, in his last column for the magazine, he notes that we may not be far from altering vision through stem cell and other technology. But, he asks: Are we ready?
Correction (posted January 3, 2007): When originally posted, Jack Woodall's bio reported that his career focused on virulence transmitted by mosquitoes, rather than on viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. The Scientist regrets the error.