Robert C. Bast

Vice President for Translational Research, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, USA

Dr. Bast is Vice President for Translational Research at the UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where he holds the Harry Carothers Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research. His office facilitates translation of new strategies, drugs and devices from the laboratory to the clinic, as well as the movement of human material and data from the clinic to laboratory. He had received his education at Wesleyan University, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins Hospital, the National Cancer Institute, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Before joining the M.D. Anderson faculty in 1994 he had served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and Duke University Medical Center where he was Director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In addition to leading the Office of Translational Research, Dr. Bast cares for patients with gynecologic and breast cancer and has been named to Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Physicians. In medical science, Dr. Bast is best known for discovering the CA125 biomarker for ovarian cancer that has contributed to the care of hundreds of thousands of women with ovarian cancer world-wide and promises to provide a critical component of the first effective strategy for early detection of ovarian cancer. His laboratory is attempting to develop a better screening strategy for ovarian cancer, more effective treatment with paclitaxel using targeted therapy and methods to eliminate dormant autophagic cancer cells. Dr. Bast has published more than 640 articles, editorials and chapters and edited the textbook Cancer Medicine. He has been recognized as a Highly Cited Investigator (top 0.5%) by the Institute for Scientific Information. Dr. Bast has mentored more than 85 postdoctoral fellows, visiting investigators, graduate and medical students and coordinates the Physician-Scientist and Clinician-Investigator Programs at MDACC. 

At a national level, Dr. Bast was a member and chair of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration. He has served on three study sections of the National Cancer Institute, as well as scientific advisory committees of 12 NCI designated US Cancer Centers, the Cancer Center Karolinska, the Deutsche Krebshilfe and the Berlin Institute of Health. He has served as a chair of the tumor markers expert panel of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the scientific advisory boards of the V Foundation and Ovarian Cancer Action in the United Kingdom. Dr. Bast also serves on scientific advisory committees for the TJ Martell Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.