Famous for being a potent tumor-suppressor protein, p53 was originally identified as an oncogene (or, a gene that promotes tumor development). What explains this dichotomy? When p53 was initially identified, the researchers were actually studying a mutant form of p53 which had not only lost its tumor-suppressor properties but had also acquired the properties of an oncogene. Today – even after 87,000 scientific papers have been published that mention p53 – we are still learning about this fascinating gene. Here, researchers from Stanford University describe a mutant form of p53 with enhanced ability to suppress tumor development in the pancreas.