Angelika Amon

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Angelika Amon
Angelika Amon in October 2017.
United States
Alma materUniversity of Vienna (B.S.)
University of Vienna (Ph.D., 1993)
Known forChromosome duplication and cell division
AwardsPresidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1999)
Alan T. Waterman Award (2003)
Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research (2007)
NAS Award in Molecular Biology (2008)
Ernst Jung Prize (2013)
Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2019)
Scientific career
InstitutionsWhitehead Institute (1994–1999)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology(1999– )
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology
Doctoral advisorKim Nasmyth

Angelika Amon, Ph.D. (b. 1967) is an Austrian American molecular and cell biologist, and the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor in Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Amon's research centers on how chromosomes are regulated, duplicated, and partitioned in the cell cycle.[1] She received a 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for her work on how aneuploidy (having an abnormal number of chromosomes) affects normal and cancerous cells.[2]


Amon was born in Vienna, Austria and displayed an early interest in plant and animal biology as a child, keeping a notebook full of newspaper clippings, and was motivated to study biology after learning about Mendelian genetics in middle school.[3] She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Vienna and continued her doctoral work there under Professor Kim Nasmyth at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), receiving a Ph.D. in 1993. She completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was subsequently named a Whitehead Fellow for three years.[3] She joined the MIT Center for Cancer Research and MIT's Department of Biology in 1999 and was promoted to full professor in 2007.[4][5].

Amon is a member of the Editorial Board for Current Biology [6] and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) since 2009[7].

Amon is married and has two daughters.[3]


Amon's research has investigated how cells control and organize the segregation of their chromosomes during cell division. More specifically, her research examines the regulation of exit from mitosis, the regulation of the meiotic cell cycle, and effects of aneuploidy on normal physiology and tumorigenesis.[1]

As a student under Nasmyth, Amon demonstrated that CDC28 protein kinase is not required for the metaphase to anaphase transition and CLB2 proteolysis continues until reactivation of CDC28 toward the end of G1.[8][9]

The Amon lab primarily investigates yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a model for understanding the controls that govern cell-cycle progression.[10] As a Whitehead Fellow, her team discovered that CDC20 plays a crucial role in cell division.[11] Her Whitehead team identified an interaction between phosphatase and CDC14 which initiates the exit of cells from mitosis to the G1 phase.[12] Amon's team demonstrated that CDC20 is the target protein in the spindle checkpoint during mitosis.[13]

Amon's more recent work has investigated the regulation of chromosome segregation and how chromosomes are accurately transmitted to gametes in meiosis by examining gene regulatory networks. She identified two regulatory networks (FEAR and MEN) that promote the release of CDC14 which have the potential to identify the mechanisms that control the final stages of the mitotic cell cycle.[14][15][16][17]

Her research group recently created haploid yeast cells containing extra copies of chromosomes and discovered that these aneuploid strains elicit phenotypes independent of the identity of the additional chromosome such as defects in cell cycle progression, increased energy demands, and interference with protein biosynthesis.[18] Amon has also examined trisomy in the mouse as a model of mammalian cell growth and physiology and demonstrated that mammalian aneuploidy results in a stress response analogous to yeast aneuploidy.[19] Amon's aneuploidy research has potential applications to cancer research.[20] She found that aneuploidy can interfere with a cell's normal DNA repair mechanisms, allowing mutations to accumulate in tumor cells.[21]

Awards and Honors[edit]


  1. ^ a b "HHMI Scientist Abstract: Angelika Amon". Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
  2. ^ a b "Breakthrough Prize – Winners of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics Announced". Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  3. ^ a b c "Besser forschen in den USA" (in German). Der Standard. March 21, 2007.
  4. ^ "Department of Biology, Annual Reports to the President: 1998-1999". Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
  5. ^ "Corporation announces faculty promotions". MIT News Office. June 13, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
  6. ^ "Editorial Board: Current Biology".
  7. ^ "Scientific Advisory Board | Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP)".
  8. ^ Surana, Uttam; Amon, Angelika; Dowzer, Celia; McGrew, Jeffrey; Byers, Breck; Nasmyth, Kim (1993). "Destruction of the CDC28/CLB mitotic kinase is not required for the metaphase to anaphase transition in budding yeast". The EMBO Journal. 12 (5): 1969–1978. doi:10.1002/j.1460-2075.1993.tb05846.x. PMC 413418. PMID 8491189.
  9. ^ Amon, Angelika; Irniger, Stegan; Nasmyth, Kim (1994). "Closing the cell cycle circle in yeast: G2 cyclin proteolysis initiated at mitosis persists until the activation of G1 cyclins in the next cycle". Cell. 77 (7): 1037–1050. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(94)90443-X. PMID 8020094.
  10. ^ a b "From Cell-Cycle Secrets to NSF's Waterman Award Amon Earns Top Honor for Young Scientists". Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, National Science Foundation. May 14, 2003.
  11. ^ Vistinin, Rosella; Prinz, Susanne; Amon, Angelika (1997). "CDC20 and CDH1: A Family of Substrate-Specific Activators of APC-Dependent Protoloysis". Science. 278 (5337): 460–463. doi:10.1126/science.278.5337.460. PMID 9334304.
  12. ^ Vistinin, Rosella; Craig, Karen; Hwang, Ellen; Prinz, Susanne; Tyers, Mike; Amon, Angelika (1998). "The Phosphatase Cdc14 Triggers Mitotic Exit by Reversal of Cdk-Dependent Phosphorylation". Molecular Cell. 2 (6): 709–18. doi:10.1016/S1097-2765(00)80286-5. PMID 9885559.
  13. ^ Hwang, Lena; Lau, Lucius; Smith, Dana; Mistrot, Cathy; Harwick, Kevin; Hwang, Ellen; Angelika, Amon; Murray, Andrew (1998). "Budding yeast CDC20: A Target of the Spindle Checkpoint". Science. 279 (5353): 1041–1044. doi:10.1126/science.279.5353.1041. PMID 9461437.
  14. ^ "HHMI Scientist Bio: Angelika Amon, Ph.D." Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  15. ^ Marston, Adele; Lee, Brian; Amon, Angelika (2002). "The Cdc14 Phosphatase and the FEAR Network Control Meiotic Spindle Disassembly and Chromosome Segregation". Developmental Cell. 4 (5): 711–726. doi:10.1016/S1534-5807(03)00130-8. PMID 12737806.
  16. ^ Bardin, Allison; Amon, Angelika (2003). "MEN and SIN: chat's the difference?". Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. 2 (11): 815–826. doi:10.1038/35099020. PMID 11715048.
  17. ^ D'Armours, Damien; Stegmeier, Frank; Amon, Angelika (2004). "Cdc14 and Condensin Control the Dissolution of Cohesin-Independent Chromosome Linkages at Repeated DNA". Cell. 117 (4): 455–469. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(04)00413-1. PMID 15137939.
  18. ^ Torres, Eduardo; Sokolsky, Tanya; Tucker, Cheryl; Chan, Leon; Boselli, Monica; Dunham, Maitreya; Amon, Angelika (2007). "Effects of Aneuploidy on Cellular Physiology and Cell Division in Haploid Yeast". Science. 317 (5840): 916–924. doi:10.1126/science.1142210. PMID 17702937.
  19. ^ Williams, Bret; Prabhu, Vineet; Hunter, Karen; Glazier, Christina; Glazier, Charles; Whittaker, D. E.; Housman, David; Amon, Angelika (2008). "Aneuploidy affects proliferation and spontaneous immortalization in mammalian cells". Science. 322 (5902): 703–709. doi:10.1126/science.1160058. PMC 2701511. PMID 18974345.
  20. ^ Williams, Bret; Amon, Angelika (2009). "Aneuploidy –Cancer's Fatal Flaw?". Cancer Research. 69 (2389): 5289–91. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-0944. PMC 2917070. PMID 19549887.
  21. ^ "Angelika Amon wins 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences". MIT News. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  22. ^ "The Presidential Early Award for Scientists and Engineers Program Archive". U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
  23. ^ "Department of Biology, Annual Reports to the President: 1999-2000". Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
  24. ^ "Alan T. Waterman Award Recipients". Office of the Director, National Science Foundation. Archived from the original on 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
  25. ^ Thomson, Elizabeth (October 3, 2007). "Amon, Golub win cancer prize". MIT News Office.
  26. ^ "Paul Marks Prize Recognizes Three Young Cancer Researchers". Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. September 26, 2007.
  27. ^ "Academy Honors 13 for Major Contributions to Science". Office of News and Public Information, National Academies. January 22, 2008.
  28. ^ "Eleven from MIT elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences for 2017". MIT News. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  29. ^ "Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science | Office of Research".
  30. ^ "The Vilcek Foundation - Angelika Amon - Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science".

External links[edit]