“The stories in [Biology for a Changing World] were the main incentives for my selection of the text.” 

               —Leslie Winemiller, Texas A&M University

“Extremely engaging! I was enthralled reading it.” 

               —Jamie Jensen, Brigham Young University

studer_3x2A ‘Quick and Easy’ Recipe for Growing Brain Cells

January 24, 201y |  Using stem cells, scientists can create batches of cortical neurons to study schizophrenia and autism.


iyengar_161118_04_1200x800The Skinny on Fat and Cancer Risk

January 4, 2017 |  Scientists are learning how obesity — having too much body fat — increases your chance of developing cancer.


tcellistock-538032878_1200x800T Is for T Cell: The Science Behind Immunotherapy

December 28, 2016 |  By deciphering the biology of T cells, MSK scientists gave immunotherapy a boost.


dna-image_flippedTargeting DNA Repair in Cancer: PARP Inhibitors and Beyond

December 9, 2016 |  Scientists are looking to exploit defects in DNA repair as an Achilles’ heel in cancer.


sugarNo Sugar, No Cancer? A Look at the Evidence

December 1, 2016 |  A lot has been written about the relationship between sugar and cancer. Most of it is wrong.


metabolism_3x2After Years of Neglect, Cancer Biologists Return to a Forgotten Field: Metabolism

November 23, 2016 |  Scientists are dusting off their biochemistry textbooks in the hunt for clues to cancer.



Resistance Is Future: Targeted Treatment Makes Stubborn Cancers Responsive to Immunotherapy

November 9, 2016 |  New research on an experimental drug provides hope for better responses to immunotherapy.


vaccineblog_3x2Do Cancer Vaccines Have a Shot at Success?

October 19, 2016 |  After a string of failures, therapeutic cancer vaccines have acquired something of a bad rap. 


radon-capture-apparatus-c1945-copy_3x2Hot Times in “Radium Hospital”: The History of Radiation Therapy at MSK

September 22, 2016 |  Learn why MSK was once nicknamed “Radium Hospital” and what it meant for cancer treatment.


hublein-unitRadiation as Weapon and Cancer Cure: MSK Doctor Unearths Surprising History

September 7, 2016 |  An effort to develop a radiation test after 9/11 inspires a trip through medical history.


traina-31_1200x800Can Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer Safely Avoid Chemotherapy?

August 25, 2016 | A new study suggests that many women with early-stage breast cancer receiving chemotherapy to prevent recurrence do not need it. Here, we look at the evidence.


biden_asco_3x2#ASCO16 Highlights: Treating Cancer in the Elderly Patient, a Visit from VP Biden, and More

Jun 7, 2016 |  In case you missed it, here’s a recap of Monday’s highlights from the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.


asco_3x2#ASCO Highlights: A “Smart-Bomb” for Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer Advances, and More

June 6, 2016 |  Couldn’t be at ASCO this year? Read highlights from the first half of the meeting.


hellmann-140625-09Combination Immunotherapy Shows New Promise for Lung Cancer

June 1, 2016 | Results to be presented at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting suggest combination immunotherapy may help more people with the most common form of lung cancer.



Between the Moon and New York City: VP Biden Leads MSK Moonshot Roundtable

May 27, 2016 |  Find out what Vice President Joe Biden had to say when he visited MSK for a roundtable “cancer moonshot” discussion.


hidingcells_1200x800Stealth Mode: How Metastatic Cancer Cells Evade Detection by the Immune System

March 24, 2016 |  Cancer cells have a sneaky ability to hide out in the body for years at a time. MSK scientists are looking for ways to flush them out.


thompsonpost_3x2License to Build: New Theory of Cancer Puts Metabolism at Center

January 12, 2016Researchers are rethinking the relationship between metabolism and cancer, and finding insights in some unexpected places. Your beer glass, for example.



A Netflix-Inspired Approach to Understanding Biology and Medicine

December 18, 2015 Computers currently help us choose our favorite movies, books, and TV shows. Will personalized medicines be next?



What Is an Oncogene? Immunologists Rethink a Fundamental Cancer Concept

October 25, 2015 | Immunology is reshaping how oncologists think about cancer, and even basic principles—like oncogenes—are getting a significant makeover. 


What Ever Happened to Coley’s Toxins?blog-william-coley-206x136

April 2, 2015 | Experts today agree that a 100-year-old therapy cured cancer in some cases. Why did it fall out of use?


helen-coley-nauts-deskBeyond Magic Bullets: Helen Coley Nauts and the Battle for Immunotherapy

April 1, 2015 | How one woman who lacked a college degree took on the cancer establishment and changed the course of medicine.


Why Is Circumcision So Popular in America?

January 4, 2015 | In the wake of new CDC guidelines, a look at how circumcision became the most common surgical procedure in the United States.


blog-needle-haystack-206x136Found: A Molecular Needle in the Cancer Haystack

November 27, 2014 | New research by CRI scientists shows how genomic methods can identify the precise antigens underlying an effective response to immunotherapy.



Birth of the Lab Mouse

November 14, 2014 | Was the father of immunotherapy also the father of the modern lab mouse?



The Arrival of Personalized Immunotherapy?

October 10, 2014 | A new paper from a CRI scientist makes a strong case for the value of truly individualized immunotherapies.


NTYs-AIDSWhen AIDS Was a Cancer

August 8, 2014 | Before AIDS was recognized as an immune disorder, it was seen as a cancer. Find out what that meant for the epidemic.




30 Days, 30 Stories

June 2014 | Stories of courage and survival from cancer patients treated with immunotherapy, featured on TheAnswerToCancer.org.



Coley to Cure: The Story of the Cancer Research Institute

June 2014 | Based on extensive interviews with leading scientists, this in-depth and beautifully illustrated retrospective traces the history of cancer immunotherapy from Coley’s toxins to current checkpoint blockade therapy.



Parallel Circuits: Neurobiologists rethink the nature of sex differences in the brain

May 2014 | Research by Harvard biologist Catherine Dulac and others is challenging some long-cherished beliefs about sexual difference.


SciAm 1e no phys

Biology for a Changing World

March 2014 | A unique approach to teaching nonmajors, this 30-chapter book uses stories of science and scientists to teach basic concepts in biology.



The Peanut Butter Project: A doctor’s crusade to end malnutrition in Africa, a spoonful at a time


Chapter 27 image

Death in Bogalusa: From tragic deaths in a Southern town, insight into heart disease




Do Bacteria Cause Cancer?

March 10, 2014 | A historical look at our changing understanding of the role of microbes in cancer.


Smoke Screens: Searching for the Causes of Lung Cancer

January 31, 2014 | On the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s report, a look back at the science and politics of tobacco.



The Legacy of Bessie Dashiell

December 13, 2013 | A look at the woman who inspired the first war on cancer.


CIR home_cover


The Cancer Research Institute 2013 Annual Symposium: Dynamics of Host–Tumor InteractionCancer Immunol Res. 2014; 2(2):105–11.






SAC 2012


My article, “The Scopes Trial Revisited: Social Darwinism versus Social Gospel,” was published in Science as Culture in 2008.

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