Avram Hershko (Hebrew: אברהם הרשקו, romanized: Avraham Hershko, Hungarian: Herskó Ferenc Ábrahám; born December 31, 1937) is an Israeli biochemist of Hungarian Jewish origin who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004.
December 31, 1937
|Known for||ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation|
|Awards||Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2004)|
He was born Herskó Ferenc in Karcag, Hungary, the son of Shoshana/Margit 'Manci' (née Wulc) and Moshe Hershko, both teachers. During the Second World War, his father was forced into labor service in the Hungarian army and then taken as a prisoner by the Soviet Army. For years, Avram's family didn't known anything about what had happened to his father. Avram, his mother and older brother were put in a ghetto in Szolnok. During the final days of the ghetto, most Jews were sent to be murdered in Auschwitz, but Avram and his family managed to board trains that took them to a concentration camp in Austria, where they were forced into labor until the end of the war. Avram and his mother survived the war and returned to their home. His father returned as well, 4 years after they had last seen him.
Hershko and his family emigrated to Israel in 1950 and settled in Jerusalem. He received his M.D. in 1965 and his Ph.D in 1969 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem-Hadassah Medical Center. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion in Haifa and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine.
Along with Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. The ubiquitin-proteasome system has a critical role in maintaining the homeostasis of cells and is believed to be involved in the development and progression of diseases such as cancer, muscular and neurological diseases, and immune and inflammatory responses.
His contributions to science directly helped cure one of his long-time friends of cancer.
Professor Hershko serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Oramed Pharmaceuticals.
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