Peter Walter
  • 2014 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award


2014 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
German-American molecular biologist and biochemist. He and Kazutoshi Mori won the 2014 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for "discoveries concerning the unfolded protein response."

Education and Work Experience

1981, Ph.D. in Cell Biology, Rockefeller University
1981-1982, Postdoctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University
1991-Present, Professor of Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF
1997-Present, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Honors and Awards

2009, Canada Gairdner International Award
2014, Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
2014, Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine
2018, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Major Academic Achievements

Peter Walter is focused on finding molecular answers to fundamental questions in cell biology. To that end, his lab studies how cells control the quality of their proteins and organelles during homeostasis, and in response to internal and external stresses. Over the years, Walter’s lab group has identified cellular machinery and mechanisms that ensure proper protein synthesis, folding, and targeting. They have also uncovered pathways that allow organelles to communicate and regulate their abundance, such as the unfolded protein response - a quality control system that adjusts the endoplasmic reticulum’s capacity according to need. The Walter lab’s current focus is on understanding how rewiring of basic and phylogenetically conserved processes of protein quality control can lead to, or prevent, the progression of disease.