Proper chromosome segregation during mitosis is essential for all life, and has been one of the outstanding problems in cell biology for over 100 years. Nasmyth has dominated the field of mitotic regulation with a series of incisive discoveries, including characterization of the anaphase promoting complex that degrades mitotic cyclins, the cohesin complex that links sister chromatids together prior to mitosis, and most importantly, the novel proteolytic mechanism that rapidly breaks up sister chromatid cohesion at the onset of mitosis. Nasmyth's work on fundamental aspects of cell divison has profound implications for our understanding of chromosome non-disjunction in human cancer and other genetic diseases.
Kim Nasmyth obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh (1977), followed by postdoctoral training with Ben Hall at the University of Washington. From 1980-81 he was a Robertson Fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, before becoming a staff member at the Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge (1982-1987). He joined the Institute for Molecular Pathology in Vienna as a Senior Scientist in 1988 and became Director 1997. In 2005, he became Whitley Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Oxford University.
Professor Nasmyth has won a number of career awards including the Max Perutz Prize, the FEBS Silver Medal, the Unilever Prize, the Louis Jeantet Prize, and the Wittgenstein Prize. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.