Emeritus Professor of Oncology, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full Emeritus Member, Research Institute
Neal Copeland received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Utah. Following postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School, he joined the staff of The Jackson Laboratory and then the National Cancer Institute-Frederick, where he was Director of the Mammalian Genetics Laboratory, the forerunner of the Mouse Cancer Genetics Program that he also directed. He moved to the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore in 2006, where he served as the Executive Director for most of his stay. In 2011 he returned to the US to serve as Director of the Houston Methodist Cancer Biology Program at Houston Methodist Research Institute. For more than 30 years he has co-headed a laboratory with Nancy Jenkins. The focus of their current research is cancer genetics. They have co-authored more than 800 papers and are among the most cited biomedical research scientists in the world today. Both have served on numerous scientific advisory and editorial boards and they have consulted for several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Both are also members of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Jenkins and Copeland have modeled many different types of human disease in the mouse, but the focus of their current research is exclusively cancer. They are using the Sleeping Beauty transposable element system to tag and clone genes involved in the initiation, progression and metastasis of cancer. It is hoped that a better understanding of the genetics of cancer will lead to the development of additional targeted therapies for the treatment of various forms of the disease.