The enormous number of different proteins within every cell and tissue is in a dynamic state of synthesis and degradation. Indeed, we destroy approximately 5% of our own proteins and synthesize them again every day. Breakdown of proteins often depends on the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway which selectively tags and chops them up in a series of complex molecular events. Protein ubiquitination, similar to protein phosphorylation, regulates many of the intracellular processes which are critical for the survival of malignant cells. Too much or too little of a key protein resulting from loss of the fine equilibrium of production and breakdown can interfere with cell processes. The AMRF believes that the key role that this regulatory system plays across many cellular processes will lead to new therapies for malignancies, immunological and inflammatory diseases, degenerative diseases of the nervous system, neural regeneration and long-term memory and learning. This distinguished collaboration will focus on cancer and provide ideas and techniques for investigators in our other programs.
Dr. Aaron Ciechanover was born in 1947, in Haifa, Israel. Ciechanover is Professor at the Unit of Biochemistry and Director of the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in Medical Sciences at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) in Haifa. He became a Professor at the Technion in 1992, and was an Associate Professor there from 1987 to 1992.
Ciechanover holds Ph. D. and M. D. degrees. He studied medicine at the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem, receiving an M. D. degree in 1974. From 1974-77, Ciechanover served in the Israel Defense Forces. Between 1977 and 1981, Ciechanover was a graduate student with Avram Hershko at the Technion. Ciechanover received a Ph. D. degree in 1981. From 1982-84, Ciechanover was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Biology, MIT, where he studied lasialoglycoprotein and transferrin receptors in the laboratory of Harvey Lodish, and also collaborated with Varsharsky and his student Finley in their studies of ts85 mouse cells.
Ciechanover's independent work began in 1986, at the Unit of Biochemistry, Technion, Israel.
Ciechanover shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Irwin Rose and Avram Hershko for "for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation."