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Tony Hunter, PhD

Tony Hunter, PhD

The Salk Institute, La Jolla, California

Class of 2013

Following his seminal discovery that tyrosine residues in proteins are phosphorylated by specific kinases, Dr. Hunter has focused his research on dissecting the role that post-translational modification of proteins has in controlling cell growth and proliferation. His findings revolutionized molecular biology in identifying a third amino acid, in addition to serine and threonine, which is phosphorylated in the cell. The aberrant regulation of tyrosine kinases has been shown to be a critical hallmark of many cancer cells.

Dubbed the Kinase King, Dr. Hunter identified one of the critical switches required to initiate normal cell proliferation and showed that this tyrosine kinase switch is frequently permanently turned on in cancer cells. His work has led to the discovery and development of many effective drugs targeting aberrant kinase signaling in cancer cells. When not in the laboratory, he can be found either running the rapids in the Grand Canyon or camping in the desert.

Career Highlights

2018 Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research
2018 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science, Tang Prize Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan
2017 Sjöberg Prize
2007 Clifford Prize for Cancer Research
2006 Pasarow Award in Cancer Research
2006 Daniel Nathan ‘s Memorial Award
2006 Elected Member, American Philosophical Society
2005 Wolf Prize in Medicine
2004 AACR – Kirk A. Landon Prize for Basic Cancer Research
2004 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
2004 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize
2001 Keio Medical Science Prize
1998 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
1994 Charles S. Mott Prize, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation
1994 Gairdner Foundation International Award
1992 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1987 Elected Fellow, Royal Society of London
1969 PhD, University of Cambridge