Hartwell, Leland Harrison, 1939–, American cell biologist, b. Los Angeles, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1964. He is a professor at the Univ. of Washington (1968–) and since 1997 has also been president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. Hartwell, along with Timothy R. Hunt and Sir Paul M. Nurse, was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for discoveries relating to key regulators of the cell cycle. Hartwell found a class of genes that controls the cell cycle, in particular he identifed a gene called start that plays a key role in initiating each cycle. The discoveries made by Hartwell and his fellow Nobel winners are important in understanding the development of chromosomal instabilities in cancer cells.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.