Submitted by comrax on Wed, 30/01/2013 - 13:11
Prof. Avram Hershko
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 2004
Prof. Avram Hershko was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. He was awarded the prize together with his colleague Prof. Aaron Ciechanover and his American colleague Prof. Irwin Rose.
Prof. Hershko was born in 1937 in Karcag, Hungary, and immigrated to Israel with his family when he was 12. He obtained his doctorate in medicine (1965) and doctorate in medical sciences (1969) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University (2009). He is Distinguished Research Professor at the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences and incumbent of the Mirochnik Family Chair in Life Sciences at the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.
Prof. Hershko has revolutionized understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of intracellular processes. He studied the ubiquitin protein, which marks damaged proteins for degradation to enable continued normal cell functioning. The ubiquitin system is also responsible for the breakdown of normal proteins which reach an excessive level, a role that is particularly important, since exaggerated activity is liable to impede the very processes they control. The ubiquitin system is connected to the regulation of many basic life processes, including repair of DNA defects, cell division, and the development of immune response. Professor Hershko’s findings have provided science with a key to decode the involvement of the protein degradation system in pathogenesis and have forged the way towards novel disease prevention and cure.