Professor Anthony Hyman FRS
Tony Hyman is a developmental cell biologist who has greatly advanced our understanding of the mechanics by which the contents of developing cells are pushed and pulled into new configurations before the cell splits in two. Using a wide array of biophysical and genomic techniques, he has explored the central role of the microtubules that make up the cell’s cytoskeleton.
Working with embryos of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, Tony completely revised views of how microtubules and motor proteins self-organise to form the spindle apparatus that pulls chromosomes to opposite ends of the cell prior to division. His exquisite use of laser surgery to cut microtubules has revealed the forces that drive the rotation of the spindle.
Using genome-wide screens, he has identified hundreds of genetic defects that can disrupt the working of this molecular machine. Tony received the EMBO Gold Medal in 2003, and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2011.