Wolf Prize Laureate in Medicine 2005
The Prize Committee for Medicine has unanimously decided that the 2005 Wolf Prize will be jointly awarded, in equal parts, to three scientists: Alexander Levitzki, Anthony R. Hunter and Anthony J. Pawson.
Anthony J. Pawson
The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital
“for his discovery of protein domains essential for mediating protein-protein interactions in cellular signaling pathways, and the insights this research has provided into cancer.”
Over recent decades, an understanding of the biological bases of cancers and the provision of rational therapies to combat them, has proved a major challenge for medical science. Two recipients of the 2005 Wolf Prize for Medicine, Professors Hunter and Pawson, have each independently contributed to an understanding of the tyrosine kinase signaling pathways in biology and the effect of their disruption on the development of certain cancers. The third recipient, Professor Levitzki, has pioneered the development of small molecule inhibitors of tyrosine phosphorylation that block the disrupted pathways associated with cancer and thus provide effective therapies.
Anthony J. Pawson demonstrated that a conserved sequence domain is required for an oncogene to transform, as it directs the cellular activity of the kinase domain. He showed that the SH2 domain binds specifically to phosphotyrosine, leading to a completely new way of connecting signal transduction to cell transformation.