Bruce Zetter speaks to Francesca Lake, Managing Commissioning Editor: Bruce Zetter is the Charles Nowiszewski Professor of Cancer Biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston (MA, USA). Dr Zetter received a BA degree in anthropology from Brandeis University in Waltham (MA, USA) and a PhD from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston (RI, USA). He completed fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (MA, USA) and at the Salk Institute in San Diego (CA, USA). Subsequently, he was an assistant research biochemist at the University of California in San Francisco (CA, USA) before joining the faculty at Harvard Medical School. At Harvard, he directed the course in human physiology taken by all medical students. He further served as the Chief Scientific Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital (MA, USA), where he directed the research efforts for the hospital. Dr Zetter has made major discoveries on the mechanisms underlying tumor metastasis and on the detection and treatment of late-stage tumors. As an internationally recognized expert in the field of tumor metastasis, Dr Zetter has chaired multiple international research conferences and grant review panels for agencies such as the US NIH and the US Department of Defense. He also chaired the NASA committee that selects scientific projects for the space shuttle. Dr Zetter has a strong interest in the interactions of academic and corporate institutions and has served as an advisor to more than 30 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as to venture firms and investment companies.