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Anthony James Pawson CH, OC, OOnt, FRS, FRSC (18 October 1952 – 7 August 2013[1]) was a British-born Canadian scientist.[2]

Tony Pawson
Anthony James Pawson

(1952-10-18)18 October 1952
Maidstone, England
Died7 August 2013(2013-08-07) (aged 60)
Toronto, Ontario
Alma materClare College, Cambridge
King's College London (PhD)
Known forCellular signal transduction
AwardsGairdner Foundation International Award (1994)
Flavelle Medal (1998)
Wolf Prize in Medicine (2005)
Royal Medal (2005)
Kyoto Prize (2008)
Fellow of the Royal Society
Scientific career
FieldsGenetics, microbiology
InstitutionsUniversity of Toronto
Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
ThesisStudies on the Proteins and Nucleic Acids of RNA Tumour Viruses (1976)


Born in Maidstone, England,[1] the son of the sportsman and writer Tony Pawson, and botanist and high-school teacher Hilarie, he was the eldest of three children.[3] He was educated at Winchester College[4] and Clare College, Cambridge, where he received an MA in biochemistry followed by a PhD 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 in microbiology at the University of British Columbia.[5]

Pawson was 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.

Pawson died on 7 August 2013 of unspecified causes at the age of 60.[6][7][8][2]


Pawson's research revolutionised 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 signalling. Since the discovery of SH2 domains, hundreds of different modules have been identified in many proteins.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

Honours and awards


  1. ^ a b Bernstein, Alan; Rossant, Janet (2013). "Anthony James Pawson (1952–2013) Biochemist whose vision of cell signalling transformed cancer research". Nature. 501 (7466): 168. Bibcode:2013Natur.501..168B. doi:10.1038/501168a. PMID 24025833.
  2. ^ a b Vitello, Paul (29 August 2013). "Anthony Pawson, Biologist in Cell-Protein Breakthrough, Dies at 60". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Buck, Genna (14 August 2013). "Anthony Pawson helped discover how cells communicate with each other". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  4. ^ Kyriakis, John M. "Retrospective Tony Pawson (1952–2013)". ASBMB Today. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Tony Pawson, renowned Canadian scientist, dies at 60". CBC. 9 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Renowned Toronto genetic researcher Dr. Tony Pawson dies | Toronto Star". 8 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Scientific community reels at the loss of the world-renowned Tony Pawson". Maclean's. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  8. ^ Paul Wells (9 August 2013). "RIP Tony Pawson". Maclean's. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  9. ^ Pawson, T.; Nash, P. (2003). "Assembly of Cell Regulatory Systems Through Protein Interaction Domains". Science. 300 (5618): 445–452. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.1083653. PMID 12702867. S2CID 14634947.
  10. ^ Nash, P.; Tang, X.; Orlicky, S.; Chen, Q.; Gertler, F. B.; Mendenhall, M. D.; Sicheri, F.; Pawson, T.; Tyers, M. (2001). "Multisite phosphorylation of a CDK inhibitor sets a threshold for the onset of DNA replication". Nature. 414 (6863): 514–521. Bibcode:2001Natur.414..514N. doi:10.1038/35107009. PMID 11734846. S2CID 16924667.
  11. ^ 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): 722–725. Bibcode:1996Natur.383..722H. doi:10.1038/383722a0. hdl:1807/9444. PMID 8878483. S2CID 4349898.
  12. ^ 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): 2827–2836. PMID 8084588.
  13. ^ 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): 1001–1014. PMID 8134103.
  14. ^ 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 responses". Neuron. 12 (3): 691–705. doi:10.1016/0896-6273(94)90223-2. PMID 8155326. S2CID 7053584.
  15. ^ 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): 537–544. PMID 8290264.
  16. ^ Marengere, L. E. M.; Songyang, Z.; 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): 502–505. Bibcode:1994Natur.369..502M. doi:10.1038/369502a0. hdl:1807/9433. PMID 7515480. S2CID 22767669.
  17. ^ Moran, M. F. (1990). "Src Homology Region 2 Domains Direct Protein-Protein Interactions in Signal Transduction". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 87 (21): 8622–8626. Bibcode:1990PNAS...87.8622M. doi:10.1073/pnas.87.21.8622. PMC 55009. PMID 2236073.
  18. ^ Feller, Stephan M. (2013). "Tony (Anthony James) Pawson, a giant in the field of cell signaling research, dies unexpectedly at the age of 60". Cell Communication and Signaling. 11: 61. doi:10.1186/1478-811X-11-61. PMC 3766090.
  19. ^ "Past award winners". Canadian National Proteomics Network. Retrieved 16 July 2019.

External links