J. Michael Bishop

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J. Michael Bishop
Nci-vol-8172-300 j michael bishop.jpg
J. Michael Bishop
Born John Michael Bishop
(1936-02-22) February 22, 1936 (age 87)
Nationality United States
Fields Virology
Institutions <templatestyles src="Plainlist/styles.css"/>
Alma mater Harvard University
Known for Oncogene Virus
Notable awards <templatestyles src="Plainlist/styles.css"/>

John Michael Bishop (born February 22, 1936) is an American immunologist and microbiologist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Harold E. Varmus and was co-winner of 1984 Alfred P. Sloan Prize.[2] He currently[when?] serves as an active faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco.[3][4][5][6][7]

Education and early life

Bishop was born in Pennsylvania. He attended Gettysburg College as an undergraduate, where he was a brother of the Theta-Pi Zeta chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He later attended Harvard University where he earned an MD in 1962.[citation needed]


Bishop began his career working for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health. He then spent a year working for the Heinrich Pette Institute in Hamburg, Germany before joining the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco in 1968.[4] Bishop has remained on the school's faculty since 1968, and was chancellor of the university from 1998-2009.[6] He is Director of the Bishop Lab.[8]

Awards and honors

Bishop is best known for his Nobel-winning work on retroviral oncogenes. Working with Harold E. Varmus in the 1980s, he discovered the first human oncogene, c-Src. Their findings allowed the understanding of how malignant tumors are formed from changes to the normal genes of a cell. These changes can be produced by viruses, by radiation, or by exposure to some chemicals.[5][9][10][11]

Bishop is also a recipient of National Medal of Science in 2003.[7] That same year, his book "How to win the Nobel Prize: An Unexpected Life in Science" was published. He was elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2008.[1]


Preceded by ASCB Presidents
Succeeded by
Mina Bissell