Carol Prives, Ph.D.

  • Chair, Basic Cancer Research Peer Review Panel 2
    Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University

Research Focus

Dr. Prives’s research has focused on the p53 tumor suppressor since the late 1980’s when she established conditions for purifying and characterizing the p53 protein biochemically and was among the first to show that p53 is a sequence specific transcriptional activator. Her research found that tumor derived mutant forms of p53, especially those that are mutated with high frequency, are defective in such transactivation. Dr. Prives continued to study p53 as a DNA binding transactivator, with special focus on mechanisms by which p53 selects its target genes; and she also provided the first model for stabilization of p53 by genotoxic stress when her group showed that p53 becomes phosphorylated after DNA damage at sites that weaken its interaction with its negative regulator Mdm2. They have continued to study the structure and functional regulation of Mdm2 and its relationship to p53.  After the p53 homologues, p63 and p73, were identified, she developed and tested the hypothesis that one of the modes by which some tumor derived mutant forms of p53 elicit pro-oncogenic activities is through down-regulation of the apoptotic functions of p63/p73. Since then, her work has focused on many aspects of the p53 family and on mutant p53. Recently, she has examined mutant p53 pro-oncogenic activities in breast cancer cell lines using the “3D” culture protocol.


McGill University, B.S., Biochemistry
McGill University, Ph.D., Biochemistry
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Postdoc Fellow, Biochemistry
Weizmann Institute, Senior Postdoc, Biochemistry

Other Experience

NIH Virology Study Section
Chair, NIH Experimental Virology Study Section
Damon Runyon Advisory Committee
NICHD Scientific Advisory Board
Damon Runyon Scholars Panel
Alberta Heritage Foundation SAC
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Review
NCI Board of Scientific Councilors
MGH Cancer Center Advisory Board
Dana Farber Cancer Center Advisory Board
Memorial Sloan Kettering Scientific Advisory Board
General Motors Awards Council
AACR Board of Directors
Chair, CAMP Study Section

Selected Honors

American Cancer Society Research Professor
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Microbiology
Member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
Member, National Academy of Sciences
NCI Rosalind E Franklin Award for Women in Science
Paul Jansen Prize in Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine
AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship Award