University of Pittsburgh

The Dickson Prize in Medicine

The Dickson Prize in Medicine is awarded annually to a leading American investigator who is engaged in innovative, paradigm-shifting biomedical research. Previous winners >

Great Science

2017 Dickson Prize Goes to Sabatini

Prize is Pitt School of Medicine’s most prestigious annual award

David Sabatini, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2017 Dickson Prize in Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Sabatini is best known for discovering a key cellular regulatory metabolic pathway known as mTOR, or mechanistic target of rapamycin, and for his subsequent research revealing several roles that individual proteins in this pathway play in common diseases such as cancer and diabetes and in aging. His research has identified fundamental molecular mechanisms in human biology and elucidated the molecular basis of human disease.

Dr. Sabatini is a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and a member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University. He is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Sabatini’s honors include being named a W. M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar and a Pew Scholar. His numerous awards include the 2009 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, 2013 Feodor Lynen Award from Nature, and the 2014 National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology. In 2015, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In May 2017, he was awarded the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Sabatini will deliver the Dickson Prize in Medicine Lecture on Friday, October 20, as a plenary session at Science 2017, the University of Pittsburgh’s annual celebration of science and technology. To learn more, visit

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Annual Showcase

Science 2017

Pitt’s annual science festival highlights the strengths of the University and the region in science, engineering, medicine, and computation, as well as the collective effect of research and advances in these fields on local economic development. Plans for Science 2017, scheduled for October 18–20, are taking shape. To learn more, visit

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Choosing the Winners

Committee Members

View a list of the Pitt faculty members on the Dickson Prize in Medicine Committee. >


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Eyes on the Prize

Winning Medal Performance

Who is the hairy Greek depicted on the Dickson Prize in Medicine medal? What's on the reverse side?
Why is half of the medal’s ribbon green and the other half blue and gold?
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