LA JOLLA, Calif., Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Salk Professor Tony Hunter, who holds an American Cancer Society Professorship, has been awarded $500,000 as part of the $1 million Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' inaugural Sjöberg Prize for Cancer Research for "groundbreaking studies of cellular processes that have led to the development of new and effective cancer drugs." The prize ceremony will be held in Stockholm during the Academy's annual meeting on March 31, 2017, in the presence of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen of Sweden.
"Tony is an internationally recognized leader in the field of cancer research," says Salk President Elizabeth Blackburn. "He has made enormous contributions to our understanding of cancer's basic biology and his research has led to life-saving therapies. We are delighted that his pioneering accomplishments are being honored with this important new award."
Hunter studied how normal cells become tumor cells, demonstrating that a special process was necessary: tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins. His discovery led to the development of a new type of cancer pharmaceutical, tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These have revolutionized the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and also are of great benefit in several other forms of cancer.
"It is a great honor to have been selected as an inaugural recipient of the Sjöberg Prize," says Hunter. "I have been fortunate to work in an inspiring and collaborative scientific community both at Salk and around the world, with excellent mentors, colleagues and students, all of whom contributed greatly to the breakthrough for which I am being honored."
Hunter, who holds the Renato Dulbecco Chair in Salk's Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, is also the recipient of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge award in biomedicine, the Royal Medal in the Biological Sciences of the Royal Society, the Wolf Prize in Medicine and the Gairdner International Award, among other prestigious honors. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Born in 1943 in Ashford, Kent, in the United Kingdom, Hunter is also a fellow of the Royal Society of London.
The Sjöberg Prize is awarded by the Sjöberg Foundation, which was established in 2016 with a donation by the late Swedish businessman Bengt Sjöberg. Hunter shares the honor with immunologist James Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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SOURCE Salk Institute for Biological Studies