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Avram Hershko

AKA Ferenc Herskó

Born: 31-Dec-1937
Birthplace: Karcag, Hungary

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Doctor

Nationality: Israel
Executive summary: Ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation

Military service: Israel Defense Forces (1965-67)

Avram Hershko's father was forced into slave labor for the Nazis, then captured by Russian forces, who also used him as a slave. The rest of his family, including Hershko himself, were among the Jews destined for exported to Auschwitz, and his grandparents were killed there. By an anonymous bribe, however, a few randomly selected cattle cars were diverted to Austria instead, and through this quirk of fate the Hershko family survived. He was a toddler when he left Hungary, and 13 when his family relocated to Israel.

Hershko won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004, for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, the means by which the cells of most living things discard unnecessary proteins. Hershko conducted his research at the Fox Chase Cancer Center about thirty-five years before winning his Nobel honors, shared with his collaborators, Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose. On the day the prizes were announced, he was on a picnic with his grandchildren, and he first heard the news when he heard his name on a radio newscast.

Father: Moshe Hershko (school teacher)
Mother: Shoshana Margit Hershko ("Manci", English teacher)
Brother: Chaim Hershko (physician, b. 1936)
Wife: Judith Leibowitz Hershko (m. 1963, three sons)
Son: Daniel Hershko (physician, b. 1964)
Son: Yair Hershko (computer engineer, b. 1968)
Son: Oded Hershko (physician, b. 1975)

    Medical School: MD, Hebrew University (1965)
    University: PhD, Hebrew University (1969)
    Scholar: Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California at San Francisco (1969-71)
    Scholar: Cancer research, Fox Chase Cancer Center (1978-81)
    Teacher: Israel Institute of Technology (1972-80)
    Professor: Israel Institute of Technology (1980-)

    Lasker Award 2000
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry YEAR (with Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose)
    National Academy of Sciences
    Hungarian Ancestry

Author of books:
The Ubiquitin System (1988, with Milton Schlesinger)

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