Marguerite Vogt was born in Germany in 1913. The youngest daughter of Oskar Vogt and French-born Cécile Vogt-Mugnier, Marguerite took her M.D. degree from the University of Berlin in 1937. Her parents were prominent neuroscientists and she grew up in an intense scientific environment. Her older sister, Marthe Vogt (1903-2003) was a neuropharmacologist who became a fellow of the Royal Society and a professor at Cambridge.
Marguerite moved to the California Institute of Technology in 1950 to work with Max Delbrück. He introduced her to Renato Dulbecco, a junior faculty member in the division of biology and together, Vogt and Dulbecco worked on methods to culture poliovirus. They were the first to successfully grow the virus in vitro and were able to plaque purify it, an essential step for subsequent vaccine production. Marguerite's technical abilities as a cell culturist were critical to this work. This resulted in a classic paper. They next turned their attention to cancer causing viruses, beginning with the polyoma virus. They were able to culture this virus and examine its latency, resulting in another classic study.
Dulbecco was recruited to the newly founded Salk Institute for Biological Studies in 1963, and Marguerite joined him as a research fellow in his group. They continued their work on tumor-causing viruses. However, their interests diverged, and in 1973, Marguerite was appointed as a research professor which was an independent position that allowed her to pursue her interest in origins of cancer. Her interests evolved to examining cellular immortalization in cancer cells, and the role of telomeres in this process. She published her last paper in 1998.
She died July 6, 2007, at her home in La Jolla, California.