50 years of Protein Phosphorylation

Published on 1 October 2019

On October 1st 1969 Philip Cohen became a postdoc in Edmond Fischer’s at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA and started his research on protein phosphorylation.

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At that time only three protein kinases had been identified and protein phosphorylation was thought-to-be a specialised control mechanism confined to the regulation of glycogen metabolism.

Philip is “celebrating” this milestone tonight in Bologna, Italy, by giving the Special Symposium Lecture at the 60th international conference on “Biological Regulation and Enzyme Activity in Normal and Neoplastic Tissues” the world’s longest running annual conference. Philip last attended and gave a lecture at this meeting 42 years ago when it was held in Indianapolis, USA, The photo below of the participants at this meeting shows 32 year old Philip Cohen (front row, second from left) sitting next to 1953 Nobel Laureate Sir Hans Krebs of the Citric Acid Cycle (front row third from left)  who gave the Special Symposium Lecture at that conference.  Others in the picture include the 1947 Nobel Laureate Carl Cori (of the Cori Cycle), and future Nobel Laureates Gertrude Elion and Edwin Krebs.  Gertrude Elion shared the 1988 Nobel Prize with Sir James Black “for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment”, while  Edwin Krebs shared the 1992 Nobel Prize with Edmond Fischer “for their discoveries concerning reversible protein phosphorylation as a biological regulatory mechanism”.

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