Philip Cohen awarded Albert Einstein Prize by the World Cultural Council

Professor Sir Philip Cohen, of the University of Dundee, has been awarded the 2014 Albert Einstein World Award of Science by the World Cultural Council.

The World Cultural Council said the prize was being awarded to Sir Philip for his 40-year outstanding and continuing scientific career devoted to studying and establishing the profound importance of protein phosphorylation in regulating almost every physiological process.

He will receive the prize on November 17th at a ceremony to be held at Aalto University in Finland.  The award was made by the World Cultural Council’s Interdisciplinary Committee including eminent scientists from all five continents.

Sir Philip is Professor of Enzymology and Deputy Director of the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy (DSTT) at the Medical Research Council’s Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit at the University of Dundee.

“This award has come completely out of the blue as I had no idea that I had even been nominated,” said Sir Philip. “It is a great honour not just for myself and my family, but also for the MRC-PPU, the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee and the 100-plus students and postdocs who have underpinned the success of my laboratory over the past 43 years.”

The World Cultural Council said his achievements met the criteria for the Albert Einstein award in respect to bringing `true benefit and well-being to mankind’ in their importance to the development of drugs and treatment with global impact.

Professor Cohen’s pivotal contribution has been to elucidate a major section of the insulin signal transduction-signalling pathway, essentially from scratch, starting at a time when virtually nothing was known about cell signalling. This was based on his dissection of protein kinase dependent cascades, which are the major intracellular components of hormonal signalling networks.

His research has raised the University of Dundee to a position as one of the leading academic institutions in his field of study. Professor Cohen has made decisive contributions to the growth and international reputation of Life Sciences at the University and to the development of a life sciences cluster in the city, which now accounts for 16% of the local economy. The College of Life Sciences has also, for several years, been voted one of the best scientific environments in the world in which to work.

Throughout his career Sir Philip has been an exceptional mentor of talented young researchers. More than one hundred PhD students and postdoctoral scientists have trained in his laboratory over thirty-eight years, with the vast majority now working in senior roles as academic research leaders.

The Albert Einstein World Award of Science consists of a diploma, a commemorative medal and a cheque for $10,000.

The World Cultural Council is an international organization founded in 1981, that every year acknowledges individuals or institutions that have made outstanding achievements in science, education and the arts, by means of its awards.

The final objective is to increase the efficient and positive use of knowledge and to promote fraternity among people, nations and governments, looking for a true understanding among all, based on respect for ideology, opinion, gender, religion and race.

The World Cultural Council is composed of a Directive Board and an Interdisciplinary Committee made up of eminent scientific, educational and artistic figures; since its foundation there have been several Nobel laureates among its members.

Roddy Isles
Head of Press
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