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Berenblum, Isaac


BERENBLUM, ISAAC (1903–2000), pathologist specializing in cancer research. Berenblum was born in Bialystok, Poland, and was taken to England in 1914. In 1923 he received his B.Sc. with honors in physiology and biochemistry, his M.B. and Ch.B. in 1926, his M.D. with distinction in 1930 and his M.Sc. (1936) all from Leeds University. As a student he became interested in cancer research, and from 1936 to 1948 was a member of the Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University and in charge of the Oxford Research Center of the British Empire Cancer Campaign. During this period he developed the theory of the two-stage mechanism for the production of tumors. He found that in addition to the chemical that causes cancer, another chemical is required for the promotion of a tumor. He continued the development of this research theme at the National Cancer Institute at Bethesda in the United States from 1948 to 1950. In 1950 he joined the staff of the Weizmann Institute at Rehovot, where he set up the department of experimental biology. He developed an internationally recognized school of cell biologists and cancer workers. He served for three years (1965–68) as a member of the scientific council of the international agency for cancer research. Berenblum was deeply interested in the public aspects of cancer, and was chairman of the Israel Cancer Society. In 1974 Berenblum was awarded the Israel Prize for science, and in 1980 the Alfred B. Sloan Prize and Gold Medal. He wrote Science Versus Cancer (1946; U.S. ed. Man Against Cancer, 1952) and Cancer Research Today (1967).

[Jack Gross]

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