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Michael N. Hall receives Lasker Award

Michael N. Hall from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum is the sole recipient of this year’s Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. The biochemist received the honour for his research on regulating cell growth.

Hall
Image Credit: University of Basel, Peter Schnetz

Michael N. Hall discovered the Protein Target of Rapamycin (TOR) at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum in the early 1990s, explained the university in a statement.

TOR controls the growth of cells. Uncontrolled cell growth can cause a range of diseases, including cancer and diabetes.

Over the years, Hall’s research has continually contributed important findings to aid understanding of cell growth. It is for this fundamental research that the biochemist has received the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 2017.

“Michael Hall showed that TOR proteins control cell growth in response to nutrients and growth factors,” commented Joseph L. Goldstein, Chair of the Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury, in the statement. “He thus established that growth is a highly regulated process that is independent of the cell division cycle.”

The Lasker Award is one of the most distinguished honours in biomedical research worldwide, according to the statement.

“We are very proud of Mike Hall's achievements,” said Prof. Dr. Andrea Schenker-Wicki, President of the University of Basel. “With this award, an extraordinary scientist is being honored, whose discoveries have inspired the life sciences way beyond the University of Basel.”

Hall himself hopes that the work “will pave the way for new scientific discoveries and allow the development of effective cancer therapies.”

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