2004 Chemistry Nobel Price Winners

Irwin Rose, Avram Hershko, Aaron Ciechanover

Irwin Rose

-Born July 16, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York

- Died June 2, 2015

-University of Chicago (Bachelor of Science and PhD in Biochemistry)

-Professor at UC Irvine School of Medicine

-Field: Biochemistry

-Irwin's favorite sport was handball, a game played between walls in an apartment

Avram Hershko

-Born Dec 31, 1997

-Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School

-Working at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

-Field: Biochemistry and chemistry

-Hershko's family escaped the Holocaust as they were rescued by the Soviets while headed to Auschwitz

Aaron Ciechanover

-Born Oct 1, 1947

-Graduate from Hadassah Medical School, doctorate in biochemistry from Technion- Israel Institute of Technology

-Working at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

-Field: Biochemistry

-Ciechanover was born in Haifa, British Protectorate of Palestine (Israel), a month before it became recognized by the United Nations as an independent country. His parents moved from Poland to the British territory in the mid-1920.

Scientific Method

- Series of biochemical studies in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

-Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover worked in the lab with Irwin Rose at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

-For many years they tried to reproduce protein without cells.

-After having no success without cells, the scientists tried to study how a cell can regulate the presence of a certain protein by making unwanted proteins with something called ubiquitin.

-Ubiquitin is a chemical compound forms very stable bonds with various proteins.

-Proteins are broken down in detail and when they are sent to be broken down they are labeled with ubiquitin.

-Cells label the proteins that need to be broken down with ubiquitin.

-They learned how a cell controls a number of important biochemical processes.

Why Does This Matter?

- When cell degradation does not work properly, we get sick.

-Cervical cancer and cystic fibrosis are two examples of illness from the failure of cell degradation.

-Knowledge of ubiquitin labelled protein degradation allows scientists to make drugs against these diseases and many others.

-Mainly built on already known knowledge.

-In the future, this information will continue to help fight life threatening diseases such as cancer.