Mariano Barbacid (Madrid, Spain 1949) studied biochemistry at the Universidad Complutense (1966-71) and got his Ph.D. degree from the same university in 1974. From 1974-1978 he trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland working on the molecular biology of murine retroviruses. In 1978 he started his own research group to try to unveil the molecular events responsible for the development of human tumours. His work led in the spring of 1982, to the isolation of the first human oncogene and the first mutation associated with the development of human cancer. These findings, also made independently by two other groups, have been seminal to establish the molecular bases of human cancer.
During the following decade (1988-1998), he joined Bristol-Myers Squibb where he became Vice President of Oncology Drug Discovery. There he started the concept of what is now known as Precision Medicine by developing inhibitors against FTase and cell cycle Cdks, among other molecular targtes. In 1998, he returned to Spain to build and direct the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas, CNIO). Under his leadership, the CNIO was ranked within the top 15 leading research centres among more than 3,000 research institutions worldwide by the Scimago Institutions Ranking. In 2011, he stepped down as director to concentrate on his own research on the identification and functional validation of therapeutic strategies to treat K-Ras/TP53 driven lung and pancreatic tumors.
In 2012, he was inducted to the US National Academy of Sciences as a Foreign Member and in 2014, he was elected Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research. He holds three Honorary Degrees from the International University Menendez y Pelayo (1995), University of Cantabria (2011) and University of Barcelona (2014). His work has also been recognized by several international and domestic awards including the Steiner Prize (Bern, 1988), Ipsen Prize (Vienna, 1994), Brupbaher Cancer Research Prize (Zurich, 2005), the Medal of Honour of the International Agency for Cancer Research (Lyon, 2007) and the Burkitt Medal (Dublin, 2017). In 2011 he was awarded an Endowed Chair from the AXA Research Fund (Paris). He is one of the few European scientists to receive two Advanced Grants from the European Research Council (2009 and 2015).
To date, Dr. Barbacid has authored 303 publications, including 225 original research articles in journals with impact factor. Currently, Dr. Barbacid’s Hirsch “h” factor is 112 (Google Scholar) or 106 (Web of Science).