Professor Anthony J. Pawson

Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology

Appointed a University Professor in 1998

Professor Pawson is a highly recognized international scientist known for his work in signal transduction. Professor Pawson identified the basic mechanisms through which growth factor receptors activate intracellular signaling pathways, thus defining a fundamental molecular language through which cells respond to their environment.

Professor Tony Pawson received an M.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, England. He did his graduate training at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, working with Alan Smith on the expression of retroviral gene products, and received his Ph.D. in 1976 from King's College, University of London. From 1976-1980 he pursued postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley, with Peter Duesberg and Steven Martin, investigating the biochemical functions of retroviral oncogenes and their role in neoplastic cell transformation. In 1981, he took up a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, and in 1985 moved to the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. Currently, Professor Pawson is the Director of Research, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital. He is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto, and a University Professor of the University of Toronto.

In 1986, Professor Pawson discovered the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain and identified its role in intracellular signalling. He established that modular protein interactions control signal transduction. It is now widely recognized that virtually all aspects of cellular behaviour are regulated by modular polypeptide interactions, of the sort first described by Dr. Pawson for the SH2 domain. His research has had a profound impact on virtually every aspect of biomedical research, including developmental biology, endocrinology, immunology, cancer research, cardiovascular research, neurobiology and hematology. Professor Pawson has been among the most highly cited scientists in the field of biomedical research during the last decade.

Professor Pawson has been widely recognized for his achievements, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Pawson is a Distinguished Scientist of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, holds the Apotex Chair in Molecular Oncology, and is an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has received a number of awards, including the Gairdner Foundation International Award (1994), the Robert L. Noble Prize from the National Cancer Institute of Canada (1995), the George Drummond Memorial Award (1996), the Boehringer-Mannheim Prize (1997), the Henry Friesen Award (1998), the AACR-Pezcoller International Award for Cancer Research (1998), the Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998), the Killam Prize for Medicine (2000), the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine (2000), the Prix Galien Canada (2002), and the Premier's Platinum Medal for Research Excellence (2002). He is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and a recipient of the Order of Canada.