Peter Walter

Peter Walter

2014 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award

Peter Walter is a German-American molecular biologist and biochemist and Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He and Kazutoshi Mori won the 2014 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research for their discoveries concerning the unfolded protein response.

Education and Work Experience
  • 1981 Ph.D. In Cell Biology, The Rockefeller University
  • 1981-1982 Postdoctoral Fellow, The Rockefeller University,
  • 1983-1991 Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • 1991-present Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF
Honors and Awards
    • 2001, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    • 2004, Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences
    • 2014, Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
    • 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.