Dr. Frederick Alt

Association: Researcher
Region: Massachusetts

“My parents both died from cancer when I was very young, I wanted to make a contribution; I wanted to do this for a long time.”

“My parents both died from cancer when I was very young,” says Frederick Alt, PhD., explaining how he lost his mother at age eight, his father at 11. “I wanted to make a contribution; I wanted to do this for a long time.”

As Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, he is doing just that. Alt’s discovery of gene amplification in chemotherapy cells, where a cancer cell essentially changes its genes in order to survive, radically changed the way we see the disease, and explained how cancers can become more malignant, more prolific, and more resistant to treatment. Alt trained more than 100 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and also mentors several up and coming researchers in the field and is preparing them to run their own labs.