Anthony A. Hyman

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Anthony A. Hyman
Anthony A. Hyman
Born (1962-05-27) 27 May 1962 (age 52)
Haifa, Israel
Residence Germany
Nationality British
Fields Molecular Cell Biology
Institutions European Molecular Biology Laboratory,
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Notable awards EMBO Member (2000),
EMBO Gold Medal (2003),
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2011),
Fellowship of the Royal Society Fellow (2007)

Anthony A. Hyman (born 27 May 1962) is a noted British scientist and academic figure.

Hyman has focused his career on examining microtubules and how these structures of the cytoskeleton control: cell division, mitotic spindle position, and cell polarity.

He has also been able to identify how microtubules are made into cellular structures and how they are broken down.

While at King's College, Hyman worked under the supervision of John White and was a key researcher in Sydney Brenner's C. elegans group. Using microscopy and microsurgery, he was able to examine the placement of cell axes during early cell division of C.elegans embryos. Hyman was able to present new finding about mechanisms of rotation by cutting microtubules with a laser beam. Hyman demonstrated that pulling forces acting from the posterior cortex on microtubules drives spindle rotation.[1]

At the University of California, San Francisco, Hyman was able to investigate the interaction between chromosomes and microtubules that create the mitotic forces that separate chromosomes in the lab of Tim Mitchison. He was able to create and mark a number of tools that are perpetually used today:

  • atypical hydrolysable GTP analog GMPCPP[2]
  • various fluorescent tubulin derivatives[3][4]
  • assays for motors and microtubule polarity[5]

While at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Hyman along with Rebecca Heald and Eric Karsenti combined their work to create an impact on the current understanding of how the meiotic spindle self assembles.[6][7] Hyman created his first independent group at EMBL that discovered that the important factors in Xenopus egg extracts were the stabilizing protein, XMAP215 and the destabilizing protein, XKCM1.[8]

In 1999, Hyman became one of the four founding directors of Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics[9] and was the Managing Director for the institute from 2010-2013. Hyman and his lab members are currently focusing on:

  • Cytoplasmic organization and how cells form non-membrane bound compartments
  • Size and scaling of the spindle, centrosomes, and other organelles
  • Spatial control of the microtubule cytoskeleton
  • Positioning of the spindle

Hyman has worked on creating parts lists for cell division among human cells as part of the EU funded projects Mitocheck[10] and MitoSys.[11]

In 2011, Hyman was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, Germany's most prestigious research award, for his work on microtubules and cell division.[12]


  1. ^ Hyman AA and White JG. (1988). Determination of cell division axes in the early embryogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans. J. Cell Biol. 105: 2123-2135.
  2. ^ Hyman et al. (1992). Role of GTP hydrolysis in microtubule dynamics: information from a slowly hydrolyzable analogue, GMPCPP. Mol. Biol Cell. 3:1155-1167.
  3. ^ Hyman et al. (1990). Preparation of modified tubulins. Methods in Enzymol. 196:470-478.
  4. ^ Hyman AA. (1991). Preparation of marked microtubules for the assay of the polarity of microtubule-based motors by fluorescence. J. Cell Sci. Suppl. 14:125-127.
  5. ^ Hyman AA and Mitchison TJ. (1991). Two different microtubule-based motor activities with opposite polarities in kinetochores. Nature. 351:206-211.
  6. ^ Heald et al. (1996). Self-organization of microtubules into bipolar spindles around artificial chromosomes in Xenopus egg extracts. Nature. 382:420-425.
  7. ^ Heald et al. (1997). Spindle assembly in Xenopus egg extracts: respective roles of centrosomes and microtubule self organization. J. Cell Biol. 138:615-628.
  8. ^ Tournebize et al. (2000). Control of microtubule dynamics by the antagonistic activities of XMAP215 and XKCM1 in Xenopus egg extracts. Nat Cell Biol. 2:13-19.
  9. ^ "Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics". Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  10. ^ "MitoCheck Consortium". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  11. ^ "MitoSys Consortium". Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  12. ^ "DFG Leibniz Prize Winner: Prof. Dr. Anthony A. Hyman". Retrieved 2014-04-25. 

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