2020 Mechthild Esser Nemmers Medical Science Prize Recipient

David M. Sabatini

2020 Nemmers Prize in Medical Science Recipient

David M. Sabatini

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

For his landmark discoveries in the area of cell signaling and growth regulation.

David M. Sabatini, MD, PhD, is a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Member of the Whitehead Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. A prolific investigator, who is also a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and senior associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Sabatini studies the pathways that regulate growth and metabolism and how they are deregulated in diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Sabatini discovered the mTOR protein as a graduate student, and his subsequent influential studies uncovered many of the components of the pathway and its role in regulating organisms’ growth and opened up vital avenues for further research into potential treatments for a variety of diseases and conditions, including cancer, epilepsy and diabetes. His cell signaling insights elucidated the mechanisms that regulate and coordinate growth with the availability of nutrients, providing essential insights into the connections between energy, metabolism and aging.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and has been awarded the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biology and Biomedicine, the Sjöberg Prize, and the NAS Award in Molecular Biology, among other honors. In total, he has authored more than 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Sabatini received his medical and doctorate degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1997, after earning a bachelor of science degree from Brown University in biological sciences. He then was named a fellow of the Whitehead Institute, where he began his own laboratory and was named a Member in 2002 – the same year he joined the faculty of MIT.