Professor Backer is the Williams S. Lasdon Professor and Chairman of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. His research is focused on the biology of the PI3K enzyme family, including of particular note PI3K-p110β signaling in cancer. He graduated from Harvard College and received his MD degree from the joint Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. Following a research fellowship at Harvard and the Joslin Diabetes Center, he joined Einstein's Department of Molecular Pharmacology in 1993. He was appointed professor in 2002, and Chairman in 2015.