Benjamin Neel, M.D. Ph.D.
Dr. Neel earned his Ph.D. in Viral Oncology from the Rockefeller University in 1982, where his thesis work established that slowly transforming RNA tumor viruses cause cancer by insertional mutagenesis, leading to activation of the c-Myc gene. He received his M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical School in 1983, completed medical internship and residency training at the former Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) from 1983-85, and then pursued post-doctoral studies with Raymond L. Erikson at Harvard University from 1985-1988. In 1988, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and began his own research laboratory at Beth Israel Hospital. He rose through the ranks at HMS, becoming a Professor of Medicine in 1999, and also serving as Director of the Cancer Biology Program, from1994, and Deputy Director for Basic Research, Hematology-Oncology at Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, beginning in 2003. In 2006, he was appointed to the William B. Castle Chair of Medicine at HMS. In 2007, he became Director of Research at Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada, and Senior Scientist and Canada Research Chair, Tier 1 in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. On January 1, 2015, he assumed his current position as Director of the Isaac and Laurie Perlmutter Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at NYU-Langone Medical Center. Neel’s research focuses on cellular signaling, with a particular interest in the biology and regulation of protein-tyrosine phosphatases, the role of RAS/ERK pathway mutations in developmental disease and malignancy, and the biology of breast and ovarian cancer. His lab is viewed as one of the leaders of the phosphatase field. In particular, his group discovered SHP2 (PTPN11), and has made numerous contributions to understanding its regulatory mechanisms, role in normal signaling, and dysregulation in cancer. He has authored >210 primary papers and 30 reviews, many in leading journals including Cell, Molecular Cell, Developmental Cell, Science, Nature, Nature Medicine and Nature Genetics. Neel served as a member of the Board of Directors of the AACR and was the Program Chair for the 2012 Annual Meeting. He received a Junior Faculty Research Award from the ACS, was the inaugural recipient of the Gertrude Elion Award of the AACR, received the Premier of Ontario’s Summit Award (Ontario’s highest scientific honor) in 2009, an NIH MERIT award and is an elected member of the American Association of Physicians. He has been a permanent member of two NIH study sections, and served on review panels for multiple foundations. He was an Editor of MCB (2000-2010), and serves on the Editorial Boards of Cancer Cell, Molecular Cell, Cancer Cell, Cancer Discovery, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, and The Journal of Clinical Investigation. He was a long time SAB member of Ceptyr, Inc., and is a co-founder and member of the SAB and BOD of Northern Biologics, which focuses on therapeutic antibodies for cancer.