David Sabatini

David Sabatini

Professor of Biology; Member, Whitehead Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Senior Member, Broad Institute; Member, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; American Cancer Society Research Professor

David Sabatini studies the pathways that regulate growth and metabolism and how they are deregulated in diseases like cancer and diabetes.





Danica Rili



Assistant Phone


MD/PhD 1997, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Research Summary

We probe the basic mechanisms that regulate growth — the process whereby cells and organisms accumulate mass and increase in size. The pathways that control growth are often hindered in human diseases like diabetes and cancer. Our long-term goals are to identify and characterize these mechanisms, and to understand their roles in normal and diseased mammals.


  • Dickson Prize in Medicine, 2017
  • Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences, 2017
  • National Academy of Sciences, Member, 2016
  • National Academy of Sciences, Award in Molecular Biology, 2014
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI Investigator, 2008

Key Publications

  1. Twenty-five years of mTOR: Uncovering the link from nutrients to growth. Sabatini, DM. 2017. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 114, 11818-11825.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716173114PMID: 29078414
  2. Gene Essentiality Profiling Reveals Gene Networks and Synthetic Lethal Interactions with Oncogenic Ras. Wang, T, Yu, H, Hughes, NW, Liu, B, Kendirli, A, Klein, K, Chen, WW, Lander, ES, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Cell 168, 890-903.e15.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.01.013PMID: 28162770
  3. Mechanism of arginine sensing by CASTOR1 upstream of mTORC1. Saxton, RA, Chantranupong, L, Knockenhauer, KE, Schwartz, TU, Sabatini, DM. 2016. Nature 536, 229-33.
    doi: 10.1038/nature19079PMID: 27487210
  4. Structural basis for leucine sensing by the Sestrin2-mTORC1 pathway. Saxton, RA, Knockenhauer, KE, Wolfson, RL, Chantranupong, L, Pacold, ME, Wang, T, Schwartz, TU, Sabatini, DM. 2016. Science 351, 53-8.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aad2087PMID: 26586190
  5. Sestrin2 is a leucine sensor for the mTORC1 pathway. Wolfson, RL, Chantranupong, L, Saxton, RA, Shen, K, Scaria, SM, Cantor, JR, Sabatini, DM. 2016. Science 351, 43-8.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aab2674PMID: 26449471

Recent Publications

  1. Rapid immunopurification of mitochondria for metabolite profiling and absolute quantification of matrix metabolites. Chen, WW, Freinkman, E, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Nat Protoc 12, 2215-2231.
    doi: 10.1038/nprot.2017.104PMID: 29532801
  2. SAMTOR is an-adenosylmethionine sensor for the mTORC1 pathway. Gu, X, Orozco, JM, Saxton, RA, Condon, KJ, Liu, GY, Krawczyk, PA, Scaria, SM, Harper, JW, Gygi, SP, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Science 358, 813-818.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aao3265PMID: 29123071
  3. Twenty-five years of mTOR: Uncovering the link from nutrients to growth. Sabatini, DM. 2017. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 114, 11818-11825.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716173114PMID: 29078414
  4. Lysosomal metabolomics reveals V-ATPase- and mTOR-dependent regulation of amino acid efflux from lysosomes. Abu-Remaileh, M, Wyant, GA, Kim, C, Laqtom, NN, Abbasi, M, Chan, SH, Freinkman, E, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Science 358, 807-813.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aan6298PMID: 29074583
  5. Intersubunit Crosstalk in the Rag GTPase Heterodimer Enables mTORC1 to Respond Rapidly to Amino Acid Availability. Shen, K, Choe, A, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Mol. Cell 68, 552-565.e8.
    doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.09.026PMID: 29056322
  6. mTORC1 Activator SLC38A9 Is Required to Efflux Essential Amino Acids from Lysosomes and Use Protein as a Nutrient. Wyant, GA, Abu-Remaileh, M, Wolfson, RL, Chen, WW, Freinkman, E, Danai, LV, Vander Heiden, MG, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Cell 171, 642-654.e12.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.09.046PMID: 29053970
  7. The Dawn of the Age of Amino Acid Sensors for the mTORC1 Pathway. Wolfson, RL, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Cell Metab. 26, 301-309.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.07.001PMID: 28768171
  8. Physiologic Medium Rewires Cellular Metabolism and Reveals Uric Acid as an Endogenous Inhibitor of UMP Synthase. Cantor, JR, Abu-Remaileh, M, Kanarek, N, Freinkman, E, Gao, X, Louissaint, A Jr., Lewis, CA, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Cell 169, 258-272.e17.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.03.023PMID: 28388410
  9. mTOR Signaling in Growth, Metabolism, and Disease. Saxton, RA, Sabatini, DM. 2017. Cell 168, 960-976.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.02.004PMID: 28283069
  10. KICSTOR recruits GATOR1 to the lysosome and is necessary for nutrients to regulate mTORC1. Wolfson, RL, Chantranupong, L, Wyant, GA, Gu, X, Orozco, JM, Shen, K, Condon, KJ, Petri, S, Kedir, J, Scaria, SM et al.. 2017. Nature 543, 438-442.
    doi: 10.1038/nature21423PMID: 28199306
More Publications
Photo credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute