1998 - Anthony J. Pawson

Professor, University of Toronto
Terry Fox Cancer Research Scientist, National Cancer Institute of Canada
Toronto, Canada

The AACR-Pezcoller International Award is given to a scientist who has made a major scientific discovery in the field of cancer research. For the first award, an international committee of prominent scientists chose Dr. Anthony J. Pawson of the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada. The AACR is recognizing Dr. Pawson’s work in revolutionizing our understanding of signal transduction and the molecular mechanisms by which cells respond to external cues. He is known for his discovery of SH2 domains, demonstrating their role in mediating protein-protein interactions. Dr. Pawson’s pioneering work on protein modules that control intracellular signaling downstream of tyrosine kinases has been instrumental in elucidating the language through which cells communicate. His work has the broadest implications for understanding both the normal process of cell signaling and the breakdowns in signaling that underlie cancer. In addition, his research has suggested that blocking signaling pathways may be a promising new strategy for the design of novel cancer chemo therapeutic agents. In summary, Dr. Pawson’s identification of the SH2 domain was an entirely novel finding that has fundamentally altered our thinking about signal transduction and the mechanisms of oncogenic transformation.
President Monti with the 1998 winner Dr. Pawson
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