Image of Peter Walter

Peter Walter, Ph.D.

Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

SFARI Investigator Website

Peter Walter’s lab seeks a molecular understanding of how cells control the quality of their proteins and organelles during homeostasis and stress. They aim to understand how the rewiring of these processes connects to various diseases and disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cognitive disorders, autism spectrum disorder and aging.

Walter attended the Freie Universität Berlin, received his M.S. in organic chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 1977 and his Ph.D. in cell biology at the Rockefeller University in 1981. In 1983, he joined the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he served as department chair from 2001 until 2008.

He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors. His recent awards include the 2014 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, the 2014 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the 2015 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science, the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the 2020 UCSF Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award.

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