|Known for||Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research|
Marks was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926. 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. He was president and chief executive officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering from 1980 until 1999.
Marks has contributed to the fields of genetics and oncology. His recent work has focused on histone deacetylases (HDACs) and chemicals that interfere with HDAC enzymatic activities (HDAC inhibitors or HDIs). Marks and others have found that drugs such as Trichostatin A and SAHA (vorinostat) can serve as anticancer agents.
The Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research was established by Memorial Sloan Kettering to honor Marks's contributions "as a distinguished scientist and leader". The prize has been awarded every two years since 2001.