Professor Aaron Ciechanover, ICA Honorary President and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born in Haifa, Israel in 1947. He is a distinguished research professor at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He received his M.Sc. (1971) and M.D. (1973) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
He subsequently completed his army service (1973-1976) as a military physician, and pursued his studies to obtain a doctorate in biological sciences at the Technion Faculty of Medicine (DSc, 1982). There, as a graduate student, along with Dr. Avram Hershko and in collaboration with Dr. Irwin A. Rose of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, USA, they discovered that covalent attachment of ubiquitin to a target protein signals it for degradation.
They deciphered the mechanism of conjugation, described the general proteolytic functions of the system, and proposed a model which demonstrates that this modification serves as a recognition signal for a specific downstream protease.
As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Harvey Lodish at MIT, he continued studying the ubiquitin system and made additional important discoveries.
Over the years it has become clear that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis plays major roles in numerous cellular processes, and aberrations in the system underlie the pathogenetic mechanisms of a multitude of diseases, including certain malignancies and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, the system has become an important platform for drug development.
As a young scientist and physician, Professor Ciechanover received research fellowships from the Israel Cancer Association and served as a member of its Research Committee for a decade, where he got an up-close look at the Association's activity to promote research, prevention, early detection and to enhance patients' treatment conditions.
The ICA has accompanied Professor Aaron Ciechanover's scientific journey with great admiration and pride; he is a distinguished personality held in high esteem; he is not only an eminent researcher and physician, but also a fine human being with a huge and caring heart, as well as a venerable educator. His collaboration with the ICA will assist us all in advancing the fight against all cancer diseases and will reinforce the belief that it is in our capacity to achieve a better future, with the potential for better solutions for prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer diseases, to enable a cure and give hope to cancer patients and their families.