Peter Duesberg

Peter H. Duesberg Lab

Welcome to Peter Duesberg's CANCER research web site. Peter H. Duesberg, Ph.D. is a professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

He isolated the first cancer gene through his work on retroviruses in 1970, and mapped the genetic structure of these viruses. This, and his subsequent work in the same field, resulted in his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986. He was also the recipient of a seven-year Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Institute of Health.

In 1987 he claimed that HIV is not the cause of AIDS.1)

Scientific Papers

  • Duesberg, P., Stindl, R., Li, R. H., Hehlmann, R. & Rasnick, D.: Aneuploidy versus gene mutation as cause of cancer. Current Science 81, 490-500 (2001). [PDF] (1.2Mb!!)
  • Duesberg, P., Stindl, R. & Hehlmann, R.: Origin of multidrug resistance in cells with and without multidrug resistance genes: Chromosome reassortments catalyzed by aneuploidy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98, 11283-11288 (2001). Link
  • Duesberg, P., Stindl, R. & Hehlmann, R.: Explaining the high mutation rates of cancer cells to drug and multidrug resistance by chromosome reassortments that are catalyzed by aneuploidy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97, 14295-14300 (2000). Link
  • Duesberg, P. & Rasnick, D.: Aneuploidy, the somatic mutation that makes cancer a species of its own. Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton 47, 81-107 (2000).
  • Duesberg, P. et al.: Aneuploidy precedes and segregates with chemical carcinogenesis. Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics 119, 83-93 (2000).
  • Li, R. H., Sonik, A., Stindl, R., Rasnick, D. & Duesberg, P.: Aneuploidy vs. gene mutation hypothesis of cancer: Recent study claims mutation but is found to support aneuploidy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97, 3236-3241 (2000). Link
  • Duesberg, P. et al.: How aneuploidy may cause cancer and genetic instability. Anticancer Research 19, 4887-4906 (1999).
  • Duesberg, P.: Are centrosomes or aneuploidy the key to cancer? Science 284, 2091-2092 (1999).
  • Duesberg, P., Rausch, C., Rasnick, D. & Hehlmann, R.: Genetic instability of cancer cells is proportional to their degree of aneuploidy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 95, 13692-13697 (1998).
  • Li, R. H. et al.: Aneuploidy correlated 100% with chemical transformation of Chinese hamster cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 94, 14506-14511 (1997).2)

Research 3)

Research Expertise and Interest

Biography - University of California, Berkley - Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department of Molecular & Cell Biology genetic structure of retroviruses, carcinogenesis, aneuploidy, virology, HIV-AIDS


Research in Carcinogenesis; Aneuploidy, an abnormal balance of chromosomes is (i) ubiquitous in cancer, is (ii) proportional to the degree of malignancy of cancer, and (iii) inevitably generates abnormal phenotypes, because it alters the dosages and expression of thousands of normal genes. Take Down syndrome, a trisomy of chromosome 21, as an example. In view of this we have recently proposed that aneuploidy is sufficient to cause cancer.

Our hypothesis proposes that cancer-specific chromosome combinations, or aneusomies, cause cancer-specific phenotypes. According to this hypothesis carcinogens initiate carcinogenesis with a random aneuploidy. Aneuploidy then renders chromosome segregation and maintenance error-prone because it unbalances teams of spindle proteins, repair enzymes, and even centrosome numbers. The resulting chain reaction of chromosome reassortments then generates cancer-specific aneuploidy and further random aneuploidy autocatalytically.

The aneuploidy-cancer hypothesis predicts all peculiar aspects of carcinogenesis, particularly those that have remained paradoxical according to the competing gene-mutation hypothesis: For example, 1) The ubiquity of aneuploidy in cancer. In contrast, the mutation hypothesis predicts diploid cancers.

2) Carcinogens function as aneuploidogens. This was confirmed with non-mutagenic and mutagenic carcinogens. For example, 100% of Chinese hamster cells transformed in vitro by the non-mutagenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were aneuploid. But non-mutagenic carcinogens are a paradox of the mutation hypothesis.

3) Aneuploidy prior to carcinogenesis. This has been confirmed by us and others.

4) The slow kinetics of carcinogenesis, from experimental or accidental carcinogen to cancer. This is explained by the low probability of evolving cancer-specific aneuploidies by random chromosome assortments _ a process analogous to phylogenesis. By contrast, the mutation hypothesis predicts carcinogenesis without lag, because mutation is instantaneous.

5) The genetic instability and the corresponding heterogeneous phenotypes of cancer. These are based on the inherent instability of the aneuploid karyotype. But, stable phenotypes are predicted by the mutation hypothesis because gene mutations are stable.

6) The ability of cancer cells to become resistant against a selected, chemotherapeutic drug, and simultaneously against many unselected drugs. This is also explained by aneuploidy-catalyzed reassortments of chromosomes, encoding selected and un-selected resistances in the same chromosomes. This hypothesis also explains the failure of diploid cells of cancer patients to become drug-resistant.

7) The low risk of transformation of human cells by carcinogens, compared to rodent cells, is thought to reflect the high resistance of human cells to aneuploidization. This is currently tested experimentally.

The aneuploidy-cancer hypothesis predicts improvements in cancer prevention by eliminating aneuploidogens from food and drugs, and in therapy by early detection of preneoplastic cells, eg. Pap smears, based on the presence of aneuploidy.

Research in Virology; A thorough audit of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis leads to the conclusion that the various AIDS epidemics of the US, Europe and Africa have chemical bases, namely toxic, recreational drugs, DNA-chain terminators prescribed as anti-HIV drugs and malnutrition.4)

Political Targeting

The crucifixion of Dr. Peter Duesberg. The original cancellation of a heretic and why it matters today. by Unbekoming -Substack January 31, 2021

“Prior to 1987, Peter Duesberg never had a single grant proposal rejected by the NIH. Since 1987, he has written a total of thirty research proposals; every single one has been rejected. He has submitted several proposals on aneuploidy, as recently as last year—they too have been rejected.

“They just took him out,” says Richard Strohman, a retired UC Berkeley biologist. “Took him right out.”

“The system works,” says Dave Rasnick. “It’s as good as a bullet to the head.” —From Serious Adverse Events; An Uncensored History of AIDS, by Celia Farber 5)

Of all the reasons to read Kennedy’s book, I would say this is at the top of the list. It is the part of the book that hit me over the head like a sledgehammer. What do you mean HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, are you effing crazy?

Here is a small section from the book;

An Agency Without a Mission

In 1955, as deaths from epidemic disease declined, NIAID’s forerunner organization at NIH, the National Microbiological Institute (NMI), became part of the NIAID, to reflect the diminished national significance of infectious diseases and the unexplained increases in allergic and immune system diseases.

Congress ordered NIAID to support “innovative scientific approaches to address the causes of these diseases and find better ways to prevent and treat them.”

Food allergies and asthma were still rare enough to be considered remarkable. Eczema was practically unknown, as were most autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Graves’ disease, Crohn’s disease, and myelitis.

As early as 1949, Congressional bills to abolish CDC because of the remarkable decline in infectious disease mortalities twice won by impressive majorities. From the mid-1970s, CDC was seeking to justify its existence by assisting state health departments to track down small outbreaks of rabies and a mouse disease called hantavirus, and by linking itself to the military’s bioweapons projects.

Looking back from 1994, Red Cross officer Paul Cummings told the San Francisco Chronicle that “The CDC increasingly needed a major epidemic” to justify its existence. According to Peter Duesberg, author of Inventing the AIDS Virus, the HIV/AIDS theory was salvation for American epidemic authorities.

James Curran, the Chief of the CDC’s Sexually Transmitted Diseases unit, described the desperation among the public health corps in the early 1980s: “There was double-digit inflation, very high unemployment, a rapid military buildup and a threat to decrease all domestic programs, and this led to workforce cuts at the Public Health Service, and particularly CDC.”

Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis similarly recalled the institutional desperation during the Reagan administration era. He said of the CDC: “They were hoping for a new plague. Polio was over. There were memos going around the agency saying, ‘We need to find the new plague’; ‘We need to find something to scare the American people so they will give us more money.’” NIH scientist Dr. Robert Gallo —who would become Dr. Fauci’s partner, coconspirator, and confidant—offered a similar assessment; “The CDC in Atlanta was under threat for reductions and even theoretically for closure.”

Drumming up public fear of periodic pandemics was a natural way for NIAID and CDC bureaucrats to keep their agencies relevant. Dr. Fauci’s immediate boss and predecessor as NIAID Director, Richard M. Krause, helped pioneer this new strategy in 1976, during Dr. Fauci’s first year at the agency. Krause was a champion of what he called “The Return of the Microbes” strategy, which sought to reinstate microbes to their former status as the feared progenitors of deadly diseases. That year, federal regulators concocted a fake swine flu epidemic that temporarily raised hopes around CDC for the resurrection of its reputation as a life-saving superhero.6)

Joe Rogan Interview Peter Duesberg and Bryan Callen

Episode #282 November 2012 7)