Professor Jerry Adams is currently Joint Head of the Molecular Genetics of Cancer Division of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia; Director of a Specialized Center of Research established there by the US-based Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Professor of Molecular Genetics of the University of Melbourne.
Professor Jerry Adams was born in Columbus, Georgia, USA in 1940. After undergraduate studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, he did PhD studies at Harvard University with James D Watson (1962-1966) and post-doctoral studies with Frederick Sanger (1967-1968) at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, where he met Suzanne Cory, who became his career-long collaborator.
After further molecular biology studies in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1972 they took positions in the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and initially investigated the genetic basis of antibody diversity.
Since 1982, Professor Jerry Adams and colleagues have focussed on the genetic basis of cancer. His most notable discoveries have concerned the role of chromosome translocations and cell death in cancer development.
Following their seminal discovery that cell death (apoptosis) is impaired in cancer cells, they have concentrated on the roles of apoptosis in cancer, the mechanisms that control cell death and potential ways of exploiting the apoptotic machinery to improve therapy.
Professor Jerry Adams research has led to over 200 scientific publications, collectively cited over 18,000 times, and has been recognized by a number of awards, most notably by his election to the Australian Academy of Science (1986) and the Royal Society (1992).