Lewis C Cantley, PhD, is the Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian. He is a Director of the Bert L & N Kuggie Vallee Foundation and was a Vallee Visiting Professor in 2006. A pre-eminent scientist in basic and clinical cancer research, he has made significant advances stemming from his discovery of the signaling pathway phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) in 1984. His pioneering research has resulted in revolutionary treatments for cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases. Here he talks about meeting Bert Vallee and about the Vallee Foundation today.