Nobel Prize Laureate
Leland Hartwell, along with Tim Hunt and Sir Paul Nurse, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001 for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle. Through studies of yeast, he was able to identify hundreds of genes that govern cell division. He also showed that the cell cycle comes to a halt if the cell’s DNA is damaged. He identified more than 100 genes, termed cell-division-cycle (CDC) genes, involved in cell-cycle control and also found that the cycle includes optional pauses, called checkpoints, that allow time for repair of damaged DNA. His work helped in expanding the scientific understanding of cancer and other diseases that occur when the machinery of the cell cycle goes awry.
He served on the faculty of the University of California, held the position of President and Director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and helped found the Center for Sustainable Health at Arizona State University. But Hartwell’s work extends far beyond research laboratories, as he is also deeply involved in medical education and how the digital era is shaping science, which will be the main focus of his lecture.