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Salk Institute’s Hunter set for May 2 Discovery Lecture

Apr. 25, 2019, 9:13 AM


by Leigh MacMillan

Tony Hunter, PhD

Tony Hunter, PhD, an internationally recognized leader in the study of cell growth control, will deliver the final spring Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, May 2.

His lecture, “Phosphorylation as a paradigm for reversible post-translational modification of proteins,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall and is sponsored by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Hunter is an American Cancer Society Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He holds the Renato Dulbecco Chair in Cancer Research.

Hunter discovered a class of proteins called tyrosine kinases, which add phosphate groups to proteins (a process called phosphorylation), and he and others demonstrated that aberrant activation of tyrosine kinases causes cancer. He has studied the role of phosphorylation in cell proliferation and the cell cycle for the past four decades.

Hunter’s research contributed to the successful development of tyrosine kinase inhibitors — a type of targeted cancer therapy that includes the drug Gleevec. Currently, 34 tyrosine kinase inhibitors are approved for treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Hunter has received numerous awards for his work, including a Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, the Wolf Prize in Medicine, the Sjöberg Prize for Cancer Research and the Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of London and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

For a complete schedule of Flexner Discovery Lectures and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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