Michael N. Hall, Professor at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and Director of the Basel Signaling Alliance, received this year’s Marcel Benoist Prize – a prize sometimes called the «Swiss Nobel Prize».
The president of the foundation’s board, Federal Councillor Alain Berset, received him in Bern. For his ground-breaking studies in the field of cell biology on cell growth and the development of cancer, Prof. Michael N. Hall was awarded the Marcel Benoist Prize on September 24. As a young assistant professor at the Biozentrum in the 1990’s, Hall discovered a protein that controls cell growth and size in yeast cells.
Later, Hall demonstrated the same control mechanism in man. Since the function of this protein is inhibited by the substance rapamycin, Hall gave the growth regulator the name of “Target of Rapamycin” or for short “TOR”. In TOR, Hall had found a key protein in cellular communication, whose pharmacological blocking inhibits uncontrolled cell division, such as is typically seen in cancer. Michael N. Hall is a member of the Scientific Advisory Team of PIQUR.