You are here: Home / About Us / News and Media / 2007 News / Dr. Tony Pawson wins Premier’s Summit Award

Dr. Tony Pawson wins Premier’s Summit Award

April 25, 2007 -- In recognition of his extraordinary biomedical research, Dr. Anthony J. Pawson received a Premier’s Summit Award from the Ontario Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty, in partnership with the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital. The Premier’s Summit Award was delivered last evening in recognition of Dr. Pawson’s substantial and distinguished contribution to medical science with $5 million over five years to further his research in cell signaling.

   Dr.Tony Pawson
Dr.Tony Pawson

“We are delighted that Dr. Pawson’s incredible research is receiving such a distinction,” said Dr. James Woodgett, Director of Research, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. "Tony leads the world in the field of cellular signaling process, both through his research and through his innovative and influential thinking."

Signal transduction is the process by which cells grow and communicate with one another and is typically disrupted in diseases such as cancer and arthritis. Dr. Pawson is also noted for his breakthrough work on protein interactions, where he introduced a new framework for understanding cell signaling and cellular regulation.

Dr. Pawson intends to pursue a research program that will study the organization of signaling networks in normal cells and the processes by which these networks give rise to complex cellular behaviors such as cell polarity and tissue formation. This work will help realize the full potential of sequencing the human genome, and better understand the intracellular mechanism of disease states.

Dr. Pawson is one of five winners of the Premier’s Summit Award, as selected by a committee of highly distinguished academics, and administered by MaRS Discovery District. Designed to help attract and retain top medical researchers in Ontario, the Premier’s Summit Awards enable scientists to significantly expand their research programs.

“Progress is made through people who have the vision to see beyond the status quo,” said Premier McGuinty. “By imagining new possibilities, taking new risks and finding a better way, Dr. Pawson has made great achievements that will ultimately change the world for the better. I am proud to support and celebrate all the winners and their extraordinary accomplishments.”

“I am truly honoured to receive this award,” stated Pawson who was recognized at an awards ceremony last night at the MaRS Discovery District. “This will allow for greater understanding of cells, disease, genomics – and human health.”

The Premier’s Summit Award in Medical Research provides extraordinary research support to a small number of outstanding medical researchers, helping attract them to or retain them in Ontario and enabling them to significantly expand their research programs. The Award forms part of a cohesive innovation strategy that focuses on excellence in research and commercialization as cornerstones of the economic future of the province of Ontario.

Canadian philanthropist Lawrence Tanenbaum paved the way with a magnanimous $25 million gift establishing the Larry and Judy Tanenbaum Family Research Challenge Fund. This fund was donated in June 2006 in response to the Ontario government's $25 million investment in the Premier Summit Awards, in order to allow researchers from the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute the opportunity to be selected as a Premier’s Summit Award winner.

About the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital
Mount Sinai Hospital's internationally renowned Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute is committed to excellence in health research, the training of young investigators, and a culture of research-based medicine both within the Hospital and the Institute. The University of Toronto affiliated research centre, was established in 1985, and is one of the world's leading centres in biomedical research. In more than 125,000 square feet of laboratory space, 31 principal investigators and over 200 trainees advance scientific knowledge to promote human health. Visit

About Mount Sinai Hospital
Mount Sinai Hospital is recognized nationally and internationally for its excellence in the provision of compassionate patient care, teaching and research. Its key priority programs are Women's and Infants' Health, Surgical Subspecialties and Oncology, Internal Medicine and Subspecialties, and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. It is a University of Toronto-affiliated patient care, teaching and research centre.

About MaRS

MaRS is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to maximizing the economic and social impact of innovation. MaRS does this by connecting and fostering collaboration between the communities of science, business and capital.

- 30 -

For more media information, please contact:
Nikki Luscombe, Communications Specialist
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
Tel: 416 586-4800 x2046

For a complete programme on the Premier’s Summit Award, go to