The awardees are Tony Hunter, American Cancer Society professor of molecular and cell biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, and Anthony Pawson, senior investigator and director of research at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, and university professor of medical genetics and microbiology at the University of Toronto.
The researchers will receive the award in February 2005 in recognition of their discoveries in understanding protein-tyrosine phosphorylation. This process of molecular signals within and between cells has led to the development of drugs for halting cancer cell proliferation and has potential for other significant therapies.
"This creative work by Hunter and Pawson has given us new insight into cell metabolism that goes beyond the original and historical concepts of the role of phosphate," said David Hirsh, executive vice president for research at Columbia University. "It is most appropriate that they will receive the Horwitz Prize, an award known for its prescience in recognizing major scientific contributions."
Gerald Fischbach, executive vice president and dean of Columbia University Medical Center, said, "Drs. Hunter and Pawson have laid the foundation for an extraordinarily important field of study that is now leading to new breakthroughs in clinical treatment of disease."
Awarded annually since its inception in 1967, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize recognizes exceptional accomplishments in biological and biochemical research. The prize was named after the mother of Columbia benefactor S. Gross Horwitz. Mrs. Horw
Contact: Craig LeMoult
Columbia University Medical Center