Vishva Dixit

Lecture Title: The road to death: Caspases, cleavage, and pores

A pathologist by training, Dr. Vishva M. Dixit has studied molecular mechanisms that underlie cell death and inflammatory signaling. In particular, he is known for the breakthrough discovery that a cysteine protease (caspase) is a component of the death receptor-induced apoptotic pathway – a finding that allowed his laboratory and others to then elucidate the entire ‘death cascade’. Born in Kenya, he went to medical school at the University of Nairobi and, after clinical work at the Kenyatta National Hospital, pursued a residency in Pathology at Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan in 1986 and rose through the ranks to Professor. In 1997, he left to join Genentech where he is presently Vice President of Research. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Foreign Member, European Molecular Biology Organization. In 2021 he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society as well as a Foreign Member of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2022, he received the Heineken Prize for Medicine and the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science. He serves on the HHMI Medical Advisory Board as well as on the External Scientific Advisory Group at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.