Peter Vogt studied biology at the Universities of Würzburg and Tübingen, Germany. He received his Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Virology in Tübingen. Following his postdoctoral work at the University of California in Berkeley, he held faculty positions at the Universities of Colorado in Denver, of Washington in Seattle, and of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has been a Professor at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, since 1993. Peter Vogt transformed cancer research with the discovery of the first oncogene, SRC. His mutational analysis of Rous sarcoma virus established the genetic map of retroviruses. He also discovered oncogenes that play major roles in human biology and in cancer, MYC and JUN, and demonstrated the oncogenic activity of PI3 kinase. His work has been recognized with several awards, including the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine (1985); Paul-Ehrlich and Ludwig-Darmstaedter Prize (1988); Charles S. Mott Prize (1991); Gregor Johann Mendel Medal, National Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (2008); Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research (2010); Einstein Professorship, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2013) and Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize (2019). He is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the German Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Peter Vogt's laboratory studies the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that induce oncogenic transformation of cells and has conducted screens for small molecules that intervene with the activity of newly identified cancer targets. The current research focuses on: 1) Protein and lipid kinases: PI3K is an important cancer target. The Vogt lab has characterized the cancer-specific mutations in PI3K and continues to explore basic signaling mechanisms that involve this kinase. They are particularly interested in non-redundant, isoform-specific activities of Class IA PI3K and the characterization of novel specific inhibitors that interfere with oncogenic PI3K. 2) Transcriptional regulators: The work on gene transcription centers on Myc and is currently focused on a compound identified from a Krohnke pyridine library (collaboration with Kim Janda) that binds to Myc, inhibits Myc-induced oncogenic transformation in vitro and in vivo and extinguishes the Myc transcriptional signature. 3) Non-coding, antisense RNA: LncRNAs are critical in the epigenetic regulation of gene activity. The Vogt lab has discovered that Myc controls the expression of most lncRNAs. Using a CRISPR-based screen, they have identified numerous lncRNAs that are required for Myc-driven cell proliferation and are in the process of characterizing the functions of these transcripts.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology