Douglas Hanahan, born in Seattle, Washington, USA, received a bachelors degree in Physics from MIT (1976), and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard (1983). He worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York (1978-88) initially as a graduate student and then as a group leader. From 1988-2010 he was on the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at UCSF in San Francisco. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2007), the Institute of Medicine (USA) (2008), the US National Academy of Science (2009), and EMBO (2010). In 2011, Hanahan received an honorary degree from the University of Dundee (UK).