Rolf Luft Award 2008
Professor Grahame Hardie, FRSE FMedSci, University of Dundee, UK, has been selected as the recipient of the Rolf Luft Award 2008.
Grahame Hardie identified the AMP- activated protein kinase (AMPK), its regulation by 5´-AMP and phosphorylation and several of its physiological roles. He introduced a concept of AMPK as a sensor of cellular energy charges and showed that it stimulates glucose uptake in muscle during exercise. This lead him to propose the AMPK cascade as a target for antidiabetic drugs, a prediction later vindicated by the discovery that metformin/glucophage exerts its effects by activating the AMPK. Hardie identified the AMP-binding domains on AMPK and their mutations in human disease. He discovered that the tumour suppressor LKB1 is the upstream activator of AMPK. His work has opened up the AMPK system which has become a major field of research. Thousands of papers have been published on this topic. International conferences are held regularly on the AMPKsystem at which Grahame is frequently the key note speaker.
The Prize Lecture "AMPK: a key sensor of cellular energy status and a potential drug target in obesity, diabetes and cancer" was held on October 28, 2008.