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Tony Hunter receives 2014 Royal Medal in biological sciences

Tony Hunter

Tony Hunter

Tony Hunter has been awarded the 2014 Royal Medal for biological sciences by the Royal Society, a fellowship of some of the world’s most eminent scientists based in the United Kingdom.

The award recognizes Hunter, director of Salk’s NCI-designated Cancer Center, for his significant contributions to the understanding of the chemical signaling that tells cells when to multiply. Signaling networks inside cells are involved in almost every aspect of normal cell development, and mutations that perturb these networks often lead to cancer. Hunter, a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, discovered a master “switch” for this growth signaling that ultimately led to the development of a number of new cancer drugs, such as Gleevec for leukemia.

“Tony Hunter’s discoveries have changed the landscape for the treatment of cancer and other related diseases and underscores the importance of basic science,” says William Brody, president of the Salk Institute. “All of us at the Salk Institute are thrilled that the Royal Society is recognizing Dr. Hunter’s groundbreaking discoveries with the award of the Royal Medal.”

Each year, the Royal Society, which was founded in 1660 and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, awards three Royal Medals for the most important contributions in the physical, biological and applied sciences.

“I am delighted to have been selected to receive the 2014 Royal Medal of the Royal Society of London, and I am extremely honored to join the scientific luminaries who make up the list of past biological sciences medal winners,” says Hunter, who is also an American Cancer Society professor and the holder of Salk’s Renato Dulbecco Chair. “It is a particular pleasure to join my friend and colleague Tim Hunt as a Royal Medal winner, since we worked together as graduate students under Asher Korner in the late 1960s.”