Nancy Hopkins

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Nancy Hopkins
Amgen Professor of Biology, MIT
Clayman Institute Faculty Research Fellow, 2007-2008

Nancy Hopkins is the Amgen, Inc. Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She works in the Center for Cancer Research within the Biology Department of MIT. For half of her scientific career at MIT, Hopkins worked on mechanisms of replication and leukemogenesis by RNA tumor viruses. Later, Hopkins switched fields of research to work on early vertebrate development using the zebrafish. Her lab developed a method called retroviral-mediated insertional mutagenesis for the fish. Using this technique her lab identified about 25% of the genes that are required for a fertilized egg to develop into a free-swimming larva. Some of the genes her lab identified have turned out to predispose fish to develop cancer. Hopkins' lab now studies the mechanisms by which these cancers arise.

In addition to her scientific work, Hopkins has worked to promote women in science, particularly since 1994. In 1995 she was appointed Chair of the first Committee on Women Faculty in the School of Science at MIT. In 1999, a summary of the findings of her committee was published in the MIT faculty newsletter. This influential and widely read article came to be known as the MIT Report on Women in Science. In 2000 Hopkins was appointed Co-Chair (with Provost Robert Brown) of the first Council on Faculty Diversity at MIT. Hopkins is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and served on its Council.