Anthony Pawson bigraphy, stories - British-Canadian biochemist

Anthony Pawson : biography

October 18, 1952 -

Anthony 'Tony' James Pawson, (born October 18, 1952), 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.

Selected publications

  • Pawson, T. & Nash, P. (2003) Assembly of cell regulatory systems through protein interaction domains. Science 300: 445-452.
  • Nash, P., Tang, X., Orlicky, S., Chen, Q., Gertler, F.B., Mendenhall, M.D., Sicheri, F., Pawson, T., Tyers, M. (2001) Multi-site phosphorylation of a CDK inhibitor sets a threshold for the onset of DNA replication. Nature 414: 514-521.
  • 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), 722-5. [ (Link to article)]
  • 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), 2827-36. [ (Link to article)]
  • 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), 1001-14. [ (Link to article)]
  • 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. Neuron, 12(3), 691-705. [ (Link to article)]
  • 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), 537-44. [ (Link to article)]
  • Marengere, L. E., Zhou, S., 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), 502-5. [ (Link to article)]

Honours and awards

  • 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"


Born in Maidstone, England, the son of the cricketer and writer Tony Pawson, he was educated at Winchester College and the University of 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 at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Pawson is 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.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine