April 18, 2013

Nobel Laureates Professors Avraham Hershko and Aharon Ciechanover have been chosen to join the first class of Fellows of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research. Professor Irwin Rose of the University of California, who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry with them, was also asked to join.

Professor Avraham Hershko (left) and Prof. Aharon Ciechanover in the lab.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) created the Academy to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose “major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer.”

The AACR endorsed Hershko, Ciechanover and Rose for their discovery of the Ubiquitin System, the body’s method of removing damaged proteins. Their research has led to the development of new cancer drugs, including Velcade, now being used to treat multiple myeloma.

The inaugural class of Fellows includes 106 individuals, symbolizing the age of the organization upon establishment of the Academy. The AACR said only individuals who have made exceptional contributions to cancer and or cancer-related biomedical science are eligible for elections.

Hershko and Ciechanover are long-term recipients of funding by the Israel Cancer Research Fund.

“We are extremely proud of our ICRF-funded scientists, including Dr. Hersko and Dr. Ciechanover. The entrepreneurial spirit of Israel is at work in the scientific research community and it has yielded spectacular results. Some of the scientific discoveries have helped to lead to the treatments that today are saving thousands of lives of cancer victims around the world. The funding of our scientists is of vital importance and we must do more if we are going to successfully find the cure for cancer,” said Kenneth Goodman, Chairman of the Israel Cancer Research Fund.

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