Sir Philip Cohen FMedSci FRS

Philip Cohen is a biochemist who has made major contributions to our understanding of protein phosphorylation and its role in cell regulation and human disease. Phosphorylation processes are very important because they control almost all aspects of cellular functions. Abnormal phosphorylation is a factor in many diseases, including cancer, high blood pressure and Parkinson’s.

A major goal of Philip’s research has been to try to understand how cell signalling networks that control inflammation are activated during bacterial and viral infection. He has also identified processes that prevent over-activation of a particular signalling network that causes autoimmune diseases. He has worked on determining which of these signalling targets could potentially be blocked, giving rise to new treatments for many diseases.

For more than ten years, Philip was the Director of the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit at the University of Dundee. He has received many national and international awards for his work, including the prestigious Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 2008. Philip was knighted in 1998 for services to biochemistry.

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology

    Biochemistry and molecular biology


  • Croonian Medal and Lecture

    On 'Discovery of a protein kinase cascade of major importance in insulin signal transduction'.

  • Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine

    No citation available for this award.

  • Royal Medals

    For his major contribution to our understanding of the role of protein phosphorylation in cell regulation.

Sir Philip Cohen FMedSci FRS
Elected 1984