William Hahn, M.D., Ph.D.
William Hahn is an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is the William Rosenberg Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He serves as an executive vice president and the chief operating officer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Hahn has made numerous discoveries that have informed our current molecular understanding of cancer and have formed the foundation of new translational studies. Hahn and his colleagues helped demonstrate that activation of the reverse transcriptase telomerase plays an essential role in malignant transformation. This observation provided the means to create novel experimental model systems to identify and characterize the cooperative genetic interactions that lead to malignant transformation. Together with his colleagues at the Broad Institute, he helped develop genome-scale tools and technology to perform somatic cell genetics in human cells. His laboratory has pioneered the use of integrated functional genomic approaches to identify and validate cancer targets. The tools, models, and approaches that his laboratory has developed are widely used worldwide to discover and validate molecularly targeted cancer therapies and form the basis of the Cancer Dependency Map. Hahn and his collaborators are now engaged in clinical trials testing whether inhibition of either new oncogenes or synthetic lethal partners identified by these approaches will lead to clinical responses.
Hahn has served as the president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and has been elected to the Association of American Physicians. Hahn has been the recipient of many honors and awards including the Wilson S. Stone Award from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for outstanding research in cancer (2000), a Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute (2001), the Ho-Am Prize in Medicine (2010), the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from AACR (2015), and the Claire and Richard Morse Award (2019).
Hahn holds a B.A. from Harvard University, and an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed clinical training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and medical oncology at Dana-Farber. He conducted his postdoctoral studies in the lab of Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.