Ateneo hosts talk of Nobel Laureate for Chemistry
March 17, 2008

Aaron J. Ciechanover, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry and Distinguished Research Professor in the Faculty of Medicine of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, will speak on "Life and death-Why our proteins have to die so we shall live" on Thursday, April 3, 2008, 2:00 p.m. at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater, Ateneo Loyola Heights campus, Quezon City.

Proteins are responsible for all human activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, digestion, respiration and secretion of waste materials. Body proteins are being destroyed at the rate of 10 percent daily and renewed all the time. In the lecture, Ciechanover will shed light on questions about (1) why this occurs, (2) what mechanism carries out this function, (3) what diseases result if the mechanism does not work properly, and (4) how these diseases can be cured. He will also help the audience understand the value of basic research for the development of drugs to target cancer and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's.

Ciechanover, together with professors Avram Hershko and Irwin Rose, shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2004 for their work in understanding at the molecular level how the cell controls a number of central processes by breaking down certain proteins and not others. Their study led pharmaceutical companies to initiate efforts to develop mechanism-based medications. To date, one successful drug to combat cancer is already in the market, with many more in the pipeline.

The talk is part of "Bridges-Dialogues towards a culture of peace," an international, intercultural and interdisciplinary platform for dialogue between representatives of science, politics, economy, culture, religion, the media and the youth. From November 2007 to April 2008, Nobel Laureates have been conducting public lectures, seminars workshops and dialogues hosted by local institutions in the Philippines and Thailand. The program was initiated and facilitated by the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation.

The forum may be viewed live via Webcast at the following URL: For further information, please email or call telephone number 426-6001 locals 5000-(04) and look for Evelyn Quidlat or Maris dela Cruz.