Robert Benezra received his PhD at Columbia University in 1986 before becoming a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center with Dr. Harold Weintraub. There Dr. Benezra identified, in 1990, the Id proteins that are naturally occurring antagonists of other proteins that stimulate development and the cessation of cell growth in a variety of tissue types. In his own lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center he demonstrated the importance of these proteins in stem cell self-renewal, tumor initiation and progression as well as blood vessel formation in breast cancer and other tumor types. Drugs targeting these proteins are in active clinical development. Recently Dr. Benezra, in collaboration with Dr. Andrea Ventura, has used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to model chromosome translocations that may drive brain tumor formation. Dr. Benezra’s lab continues to shed light on important basic biological principles that underlie tumorigenesis, metastasis and tumor/host cell interactions.