Anthony Pawson

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Anthony Pawson
Born Anthony James Pawson
(1952-10-18)October 18, 1952
Maidstone, [England
Died August 7, 2013(2013-08-07) (aged 60)
Toronto, Ontario
Nationality British-Canadian
Fields Genetics, microbiology
Institutions University of Toronto
Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
Alma mater University of Cambridge
King's College London
Known for Cellular signal transduction
Notable awards Flavelle Medal (1998)
Wolf Prize in Medicine (2005)
Royal Medal (2005)
Kyoto Prize (2008)
Fellow of the Royal Society

Anthony "Tony" James Pawson, OC OOnt CH FRS FRSC (October 18, 1952 – August 7, 2013),[1] was a British-born Canadian scientist whose research has revolutionized the understanding of signal transduction, the molecular mechanisms by which cells respond to external cues, and how they communicate with each other. He identified the phosphotyrosine-binding Src homology 2 (SH2 domain) as the prototypic non-catalytic interaction module. SH2 domains serve as a model for a large family of protein modules that act together to control many aspects of cellular signaling. Since the discovery of SH2 domains, hundreds of different modules have been identified in many proteins.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]


Born in Maidstone, England,[1] the son of the cricketer and writer Tony Pawson, and botanist and high-school teacher Hilarie, he was the eldest of three children.[11] He was educated at Winchester College[12] and Clare College, Cambridge where he received a MA in biochemistry followed by a Ph.D. from King's College London in 1976. From 1976 to 1980 he pursued postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1981 to 1985, he was Assistant Professor in microbiology at the University of British Columbia.

Pawson was a Distinguished Investigator and former Director of Research at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital and Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto both of which he joined in 1985.

Pawson died on August 7, 2013 of unspecified causes, at the age of 60.[13][14][15]

Honours and awards[edit]

  • 1994 Gairdner Foundation International Award
  • 1994 Fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada
  • 1995 Robert L. Noble Prize from the National Cancer Institute of Canada
  • 1998 Pezcoller-AACR International Award for Cancer Research
  • 1998 Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • 1998 The Royal Society of Canada Flavelle Medal for meritorious achievement in biological science
  • 2000 J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine
  • 2004 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University
  • 2004 Poulsson Medal, the Norwegian Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • 2004 Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (US)
  • 2004 Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (US)
  • 2005 Wolf Prize in Medicine "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"
  • 2005 The Royal Medal from The Royal Society of London
  • 2006 Companion of Honour
  • 2007 Premiers Summit Award
  • 2007 Howard Taylor Ricketts Award from University of Chicago
  • 2008 Kyoto Prize - "Japan's Nobel" for "Proposing and Proving the Concept of Adapter Molecules in the Signal Transduction"


  1. ^ a b Bernstein, Alan; Rossant, Janet (2013). "Anthony James Pawson (1952–2013) Biochemist whose vision of cell signalling transformed cancer research". Nature 501 (7466): 168. doi:10.1038/501168a.  edit
  2. ^ Pawson, T.; Nash, P. (2003). "Assembly of Cell Regulatory Systems Through Protein Interaction Domains". Science 300 (5618): 445–452. doi:10.1126/science.1083653. PMID 12702867.  edit
  3. ^ Nash, P.; Tang, X.; Orlicky, S.; Chen, Q.; Gertler, F. B.; Mendenhall, M. D.; Sicheri, F.; Pawson, T.; Tyers, M. (2001). "Multisite phosphorylation of a CDK inhibitor sets a threshold for the onset of DNA replication". Nature 414 (6863): 514–521. doi:10.1038/35107009. PMID 11734846.  edit
  4. ^ Holland, S. J.; Gale, N. W.; Mbamalu, G.; Yancopoulos, G. D.; Henkemeyer, M.; Pawson, T. (1996). "Bidirectional signalling through the EPH-family receptor Nuk and its transmembrane ligands". Nature 383 (6602): 722–725. doi:10.1038/383722a0. PMID 8878483.  edit
  5. ^ Salcini, A. E.; McGlade, J.; Pelicci, G.; Nicoletti, I.; Pawson, T.; Pelicci, P. G. (1994). "Formation of Shc-Grb2 complexes is necessary to induce neoplastic transformation by overexpression of Shc proteins". Oncogene 9 (10): 2827–2836. PMID 8084588.  edit
  6. ^ Henkemeyer, M.; Marengere, L. E.; McGlade, J.; Olivier, J. P.; Conlon, R. A.; Holmyard, D. P.; Letwin, K.; Pawson, T. (1994). "Immunolocalization of the Nuk receptor tyrosine kinase suggests roles in segmental patterning of the brain and axonogenesis". Oncogene 9 (4): 1001–1014. PMID 8134103.  edit
  7. ^ Stephens, R. M.; Loeb, D. M.; Copeland, T. D.; Pawson, T.; Greene, L. A.; Kaplan, D. R. (1994). "Trk receptors use redundant signal transduction pathways involving SHC and PLC-gamma 1 to mediate NGF responses". Neuron 12 (3): 691–705. doi:10.1016/0896-6273(94)90223-2. PMID 8155326.  edit
  8. ^ Crowe, A. J.; McGlade, J.; Pawson, T.; Hayman, M. J. (1994). "Phosphorylation of the SHC proteins on tyrosine correlates with the transformation of fibroblasts and erythroblasts by the v-sea tyrosine kinase". Oncogene 9 (2): 537–544. PMID 8290264.  edit
  9. ^ Marengere, L. E. M.; Songyang, Z.; Gish, G. D.; Schaller, M. D.; Parsons, J. T.; Stern, M. J.; Cantley, L. C.; Pawson, T. (1994). "SH2 domain specificity and activity modified by a single residue". Nature 369 (6480): 502–505. doi:10.1038/369502a0. PMID 7515480.  edit
  10. ^ Moran, M. F. (1990). "Src Homology Region 2 Domains Direct Protein-Protein Interactions in Signal Transduction". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 87 (21): 8622–8626. doi:10.1073/pnas.87.21.8622.  edit
  11. ^ Buck, Genna (2013-08-14). "Anthony Pawson helped discover how cells communicate with each other". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2014-05-05. 
  12. ^ Kyriakis, John M. "Retrospective Tony Pawson (1952 – 2013)". ASBMB Today. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Friday, August 9, 2013 3:01 AM EDT Facebook Twitter RSS (2013-08-08). "Renowned Toronto genetic researcher Dr. Tony Pawson dies | Toronto Star". Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  14. ^ "Scientific community reels at the loss of the world-renowned Tony Pawson". Maclean's. 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  15. ^ Paul Wells (2013-08-09). "RIP Tony Pawson". Maclean's. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 

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