Leland Hartwell


Leland H. Hartwell

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Leland H. Hartwell
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2001

Born: 30 October 1939, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA

Prize motivation: “for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle”

Prize share: 1/3


From the beginning organisms evolve from one cell, which divides and becomes new cells that in turn divide. Eventually different types of cells are formed with different roles. For an organism to function and develop normally, cell division has to occur at a suitable pace. Leland Hartwell has helped to show how the cell cycle is controlled. Through studies of yeast in 1971, Hartwell 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.

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