Angelika Amon, Ph.D.

Angelika Amon, Ph.D., Honorary Board

Amon obtained her Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Vienna where she studied cell division with Kim Nasmyth. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Ruth Lehmann at the Whitehead Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow to investigate germ cell formation in Drosophila. In 1996, Amon accepted a Whitehead Fellow position to study the mechanisms governing chromosome segregation and exit from mitosis. Amon joined the faculty of the Department of Biology and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999, where she now holds the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Chair of Cancer Research. Amon is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Amon won the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

At MIT, Amon studies the mechanisms that govern chromosome segregation. She also strives to understand what happens when this processes fails and cells receive the wrong number of chromosomes – a condition known as aneuploidy. Amon discovered that aneuploidy, a hallmark of cancer, elicits a systemic stress response characterized by proliferation defects, as well as proteotoxic and energy stress. Amon also identified genetic and chemical interventions that enhance or suppress the aneuploidy-associated stresses providing insights into tumorigenesis and identifying aneuploidy as a therapeutic target in cancer.