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Aaron Ciechanover to give Max Birnstiel Lecture

23 Mar 2018

The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) cordially invites you to attend the talk

‘The ubiquitin proteasome system – from basic mechanisms thru human diseases and on to drug targeting’

By Aaron Ciechanover
Technion Integrated Cancer Center, Israel

Date: Wed., 28 March 2018, 11.00 a.m.
Venue: IMP Lecture Hall, Campus-Vienna-Biocenter 1, 1030 Vienna

In the early 1980s, Aaron Ciechanover and colleagues discovered one of the cell's most important cyclical processes, regulated protein degradation. They found that the degradation takes place through a process where the proteins to be broken down are provided with a molecular label, called ubiquitin. The labelled proteins are then fed into the cells' waste disposal organs, the proteasomes, where they are chopped into small pieces and destroyed. The label serves as the signal that a protein is on the way for disassembly. Shortly before the protein enters the proteasome, its ubiquitin label is disconnected for re-use.

It is now known that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis is involved in regulating basically any cellular process, including cell cycle and division, differentiation, signal transduction, maintenance of the integrity of the genome and proteome, and the many routes the cell communicates with its environment. Aberrations in the pathway have been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases, among them certain malignancies and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, the system has become a major platform for drug targeting, and several successful anti-cancer drugs are already on the market. Many more that will target also neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases are in the pipeline.

Aaron Ciechanover earned his master's degree in science in 1971 and graduated from Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem in 1974. He received his doctorate in biochemistry in 1981 from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa before conducting postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Harvey Lodish at the Whitehead Institute at MIT from 1981-1984. He is currently a Technion Distinguished Research Professor in the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute at the Technion.

Ciechanover is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences. Among his distinctions, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry stands out which he received in 2004, jointly with Avram Hershko and Irwin Rose, for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation.

Aaron Ciechanover has been invited to the IMP by Tim Clausen.

About the Max Birnstiel Lectures

The Max Birnstiel Lectures are a special series of seminars at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna and represent the highest award that the IMP can give to outside scientists. They are named after the founding director of the institute, Max L. Birnstiel, who passed away in 2014. Each year, five to six scientists are invited to deliver one of these lectures, among them a number of Nobel Prize laureates. The Max Birnstiel Lectures attract considerable attention on campus and within the wider scientific community and invariably draw a large audience to the IMP.

Programme of the Max Birnstiel Lectures:

Videos of past Max Birnstiel Lectures:

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