Professor Edmond Henri Fischer ForMemRS
Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington.
Edmond Fischer and Edwin Krebs identified the first example of the control of protein function by reversible phosphorylation in 1955, when they discovered that glycogen phosphorylase was regulated by a phosphorylation - dephosphorylation mechanism. They and others subsequently showed that protein phosphorylation is the conduit by which many hormones transmit their messages and a mechanism that regulates almost all aspects of cell life. Abnormal phosphorylation is now known to be a cause or consequence of cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and other global diseases and, for this reason, protein kinases have become the second most important class of drug target for the pharmaceutical industry. For their discoveries Fischer and Krebs were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1992.