Melvin Greaves was born in Norwich in 1941, and received his B.Sc. in Zoology in 1964 and PhD in Immunology in 1968 from the Faculty of Medicine at London University. He spent one year fellowship training with the Immunology Group at the Department of Bacteriology in Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, then served as a Research Scientist at the Immunology Division of the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill (1969-1972) before joining the Tumor Immunology Unit of the Department of Zoology at the University College in London (1972-1976).
Professor Greaves became Head of the Immunology Laboratory from 1976 – 1984, then Director of the Leukemia Research Fund Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research at London University from 1984-2003. He is currently Professor of Cell Biology and Chairman of the Haemato- Oncology Section at the Institute of Cancer Research. Earlier in his career, Professor Greaves introduced new methods for the biological classification of leukaemias that led to insights into the cellular origins of disease and more specific allocation of treatment. His subsequent work on the molecular genetics of childhood leukaemias uncovered the pre-natal origin of this disease and shed light on its possible causes. His research paved the way for important advances in the diagnosis and prognosis of leukemias and for the design of novel forms of treatment in individual patients.
Professor Greaves’ contributions to research in leukemia appeared in numerous publications and a long list of honorary and invited lectures, and have earned him worldwide recognition. In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine, he received the Paul Martini Prize from Gottingen University in Germany, the Peter Debye Prize from the University of Maastricht in
Holland, the Gold Medal of the British Society for Haematology and the José Carreras Award from the European Hematology Association and José Carreras Leukemia Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK, as well as an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Physicians (London) and Member of the European Molecular
Biology Organization and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He also holds a Personal Chair of Cell Biology at London University and was the Gordon Bloom Distinguished Visiting Professor at Harvard University Medical School in Boston, MA, USA. Professor Greaves has a wide range of interest in biology, cancer and medicine and is the author of the popular science book
‘Cancer. The Evolutionary Legacy’(Oxford University Press).
Dr. Greaves, a British national born in 1941, is the Director of the Leukaemia Research Fund Centre of the Institute of Cancer Research. Over a period spanning more than two decades he has made a number of seminal contributions to our understanding of the origins and causes of leukaemia. His pioneering work on the immuno-phenotyping of leukaemia cells has been of fundamental importance in the classification of this disease complex. This, in turn, has greatly aided the establishment of diagnosis and prognosis, and the design of treatment in individual cases. On the basis of his research on the identification of the origins of different cell types of leukaemia he has developed an hypothesis on the possible role of stem mutations in their causation. Dr.Greaves’ work on cell phenotyping has opened the way to an international, collaborative investigation of the epidemiology of acute leukaemias. He is also involved in the establishment of a computer programme to facilitate diagnosis. In addition to this, Dr.Greaves has contributed significantly to the definition of the association between HTLV-I and human lymphoma/leukaemia in blacks in the United Kingdom, the only leukaemia so far identified as being of viral origin.