Dr. Michel Aguet, MD, held positions in academia and industry (Associate Professor at the Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Zürich; Head of Molecular Oncology, Genentech, So. San Francisco) before he was appointed director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) (1996-2009). In the context of the integration of ISREC into the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), he was appointed as Full Professor at the newly established School of Life Sciences in 2005. From 2001-2013 he directed the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Molecular Oncology, a national program launched by the Swiss National Science Foundation to encourage translational cancer research and for which ISREC was the leading house. Dr. Aguet has been a SAB member in the pharmaceutical industry, biotech industry and venture capital industry since 1997.
A large part of his scientific career was devoted to exploring the molecular biology of interferons (cloning of the interferon gamma receptor, generation of various interferon signaling mutants in the mouse) and, in collaboration with Prof. Charles Weissmann, to investigating the role of prion related protein PrP in mouse prion disease models. In recent years his research focused on characterizing the role of BCL9 proteins, which are part of the Wnt/beta-catenin transcriptional activation complex, in regulating stem cell traits in intestinal epithelium and colorectal cancer. His laboratory is now closed due to retirement.