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Nobel Laureate from Israel Returns to Fox Chase Cancer Center

Correction, November 2008: Ubiquitin is described in this press release as the "cell's internal garbage disposal" but the disposal structure is the proteasome. Ubiquitin is the chemical tag that is attached to proteins to mark them for destruction.

PHILADELPHIA (August 22, 2005) — Israel's Avram Hershko, MD, PhD, one of three researchers who won last year's Nobel Prize in chemistry, returns to Fox Chase Cancer Center on Tuesday, September 6, for a series of scientific meetings with Fox Chase researchers and to deliver a lecture about his Prize-winning research. Hershko gives his lecture "The ubiquitin system for protein degradation and some of its roles in the control of cell division" at 12:15 p.m. in the Reimann Auditorium.

Hershko, Aaron Ciechanover, PhD, both from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, and retired Fox Chase scientist Irwin A. "Ernie" Rose, PhD, won the 2004 Prize for a series of epoch-making biochemical studies on the breakdown of proteins within cells. Starting in the late 1970s, much their work was conducted during a series of sabbatical leaves that Hershko and Ciechanover spent as visiting scientists in Rose's laboratory at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

The focus of the Nobel Prize-winning research is the regulatory protein ubiquitin-so named because it is ubiquitous in the cells of animals and plants. Ubiquitin serves as each cell's internal garbage disposal, using an enzyme system to target unwanted proteins for breakdown and recycling once their specific task within the cell is done. Along with recycling products the cell no longer needs, ubiquitin helps regulate the important proteins that control cell reproduction.

Herschko is a professor of biochiemstry at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He received his MD in 1965 and his PhD in 1969 from The Hebrew University and "Hadassah" Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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