October 1, 1947 |
Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel)
|Known for||Ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation|
|Notable awards||Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2004)|
Biochemistry is the science of life. All our life processes – walking, talking, moving, feeding – are essentially chemical reactions. So biochemistry is actually the chemistry of life, and it's supremely interesting.
My brother Joseph, who is 14 years older than me, was already on his national military compulsory service when I was 4 years old, the age from which I remember myself.
Bringing together the unique expertise of researchers from both NYU and the Technion will hopefully enable us to overcome some of the most difficult challenges in treating cancer patients.
The development of methods to monitor protein dynamics in cells together with the discovery of specific and general lysosomal inhibitors have resulted in the identification of different classes of cellular proteins, long- and short-lived, and the findings of the differential effects of the inhibitors on these groups.
We need to save the education system. We need to remove education from the framework of the political parties that rule in the State of Israel. We need to increase the allocation of long-term national resources to education and never touch them – no matter what.
The evolvement of proteolysis as a centrally important regulatory mechanism is a remarkable example for the development of a novel biological concept and the accompanying battles to change paradigms.
To develop drugs for people, we basically dismantle the system. In the lab, we look at things the size of a cell or two. We dismantle life into very small models.
I try hope that in the end, we will live in a cancer-free world. We want to live disease-free lives.
I grew up in Haifa and enjoyed the wonderful beaches and Mount Carmel that rolls into the Mediterranean Sea. From my early days at home, I remember a strong encouragement to study.
We are a country that lacks riches. The Jewish brain, that's what we have. Everything that we've had and will have in this country is the direct and clear product of higher education. If we harm this system, we will drastically decline and cease to exist.
We discovered a mechanism which is like the garbage machine of the body. We need to remove damaged proteins and create new ones in their place, and we discovered the machine that does this.
Towards the end of the military service, I had to make what I assume has been the most important decision in my career: to start a residency in clinical medicine, in surgery, which was my favorite choice, or to enroll into graduate school and start a career in scientific research. It was clear to me that I was heading for graduate school.
I studied at the Hebrew University Medical Faculty, graduated, and was an Israel Defense Forces' combat physician on a Navy ship.
We are paying the price for living longer, collecting degenerative diseases along the way. Cancer is only one. Others are heart and brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinsons.
The problem of different sensitivities of distinct protein groups to lysosomal inhibitors has remained unsolved and may have served as an important trigger in the future quest for a non-lysosomal proteolytic system that may be involved in at least certain aspects of intracellular protein degradation.
The important thing is to do what you most love in the best way. If you love literature, you could be a great writer and perhaps one day become a Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature.
Reticulocytes are terminally differentiating red blood cells that do not contain lysosome. Therefore, it was postulated that the degradation of hemoglobin in these cells is mediated by a non-lysosomal machinery.
The chances of Israeli science competing with big American science are small. For almost 15 years, we had no competition.
My father left me with his love of Jewish studies and cultural life. To this very day, along with several physicians and scientist colleagues, I take regular periodical lessons taught by a Rabbinical scholar on how the Jewish law views moral and ethical problems related to modern medicine and science.
The scale of time for a politician runs between one primary and the next, and in Israel, this means two to three years because elections almost never take place once every four years as stipulated by law. The timetable for a system of research is completely different.
I went to the Technion and studied with Avram Hershko. I found it more exciting than practicing medicine.