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Avram Hershko

Hershko, Avram, 1937–, Israeli biochemist, M.D. Hebrew Univ.–Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, 1965, Ph.D. 1969. Hershko has been a professor at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Haifa, since 1972. In 2004 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose for discovering the mechanism underlying protein degradation. Their work resulted in a molecular-level understanding of how cells control such processes as DNA repair, cell division, and immune functions by breaking down selected proteins using a regulatory tag called ubiquitin. This knowledge has helped in the fight against cystic fibrosis, cervical cancer, and other diseases that occur when the degradation process is flawed.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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