Paul Marks
Born(1926-08-16)August 16, 1926
DiedApril 28, 2020(2020-04-28) (aged 93)
Alma mater
Known forPaul Marks Prize for Cancer Research
ChildrenAndrew Marks
Matthew Marks
Elizabeth Ostrer
Scientific career

Paul Alan Marks (August 16, 1926 – April 28, 2020) was a medical doctor, researcher and administrator. He was a faculty member and president at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.[1][2]


Marks was born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, in 1926, to Robert Marks and Sarah Bohorad.[3] Marks attended Columbia College and Columbia Medical School. After completing postdoctoral research at the United States National Institutes of Health and at the Institut Pasteur in France, he joined the faculty at Columbia University. Marks served as dean of the Medical Faculty at Columbia University from 1970 to 1973.[4] He was president and chief executive officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering from 1980 until 1999.[4] Marks died at his Manhattan home from pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer on April 28, 2020, at the age of 93. [3]

Scholarly activities

Marks contributed to the fields of genetics and oncology.[4] His recent work was focused on histone deacetylases (HDACs) and chemicals that interfere with HDAC enzymatic activities (HDAC inhibitors or HDIs). Marks and others found that drugs such as Trichostatin A and SAHA (vorinostat) can serve as anticancer agents.[5]

Marks published more than 400 scientific articles and was the editor-in-chief of journals including the Journal of Clinical Investigation and Blood.[6]

Honors and affiliations

Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research

The Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research was established by Memorial Sloan Kettering to honor Marks's contributions "as a distinguished scientist and leader".[4] The prize has been awarded every two years since 2001.



  1. ^ Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center biography
  2. ^ Businessweek profile[dead link]
  3. ^ a b Schwartz, John (May 5, 2020). "Paul Marks, Who Brought Sloan Kettering to Greatness, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g MSKCC Paul Marks Prize website
  5. ^ Marks, P. A.; Breslow, R. (2007). "Dimethyl sulfoxide to vorinostat: Development of this histone deacetylase inhibitor as an anticancer drug". Nature Biotechnology. 25 (1): 84–90. doi:10.1038/nbt1272. PMID 17211407. S2CID 12656582.
  6. ^ a b c PTC Therapeutics Archived 2014-10-02 at the Wayback Machine