Salk Institute professor 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 well-known scientists based in the United Kingdom.
The award recognizes Hunter, director of Salk's NCI-designated Cancer Center, for his 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 discovered a master "switch" for this growth signaling that ultimately led to the development of a number of new cancer drugs.
"Tony Hunter's discoveries have changed the landscape for the treatment of cancer and other related diseases and underscores the importance of basic science," said 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. The medal will be presented at the society's Anniversary Day meeting on Dec. 1.