Professor Ciechanover – together with Technion Distinguished Research Professor Avram Hershko and the late Dr. Irwin Rose of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia – was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, the process by which the body destroys proteins that are no longer useful. That research has led to the development of several anti-cancer drugs including Velcade® and an entire family of Immunomodulatory drugs. Along 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 many diseases, among them certain malignancies and neurodegenerative disorders.
Born in Haifa, Israel in 1947, Prof. Ciechanover earned his M.Sc. and M.D. degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After three years as a military combat physician in the Israel Defense Forces, he continued his graduate studies at the Technion, under the supervision of Prof. Hershko, and obtained his Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) degree in 1981. As a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Harvey Lodish at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he continued his studies on the ubiquitin system and made additional important discoveries. He became a Technion faculty member in 1984.
Prof. Ciechanover has served as Director of the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences; the founding Director of the Lorey I. Lokey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Sciences and Engineering; head of the David and Janet Polak Center for Cancer Research and Vascular Biology; Vice Chancellor of the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology; and Founder and Co-director of the R-TICC, which integrates the university’s renowned engineering capabilities with oncology care and research.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Prof. Ciechanover has received numerous awards including the Albert Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research, 2002 EMET Prize, and 2003 Israel Prize for Biology. He has published more than 200 articles and book chapters. His contributions to science and humanity have been recognized with honorary doctorates from more than 50 universities. His dedication to the Technion has been awarded with numerous academic honors.
Prof. Ciechanover is member of many academies, including the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Foreign Fellow), the American Philosophical Society, the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and Medicine (NAM) of the USA (Foreign Associate), the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; Foreign Member), the Russian Academy of Sciences (Foreign Member), and the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina).
Updated August 2023