Nobel Laureate Aaron Ciechanover speaks on protein degradation

April 23, 2008

Did you know that when the degradation of certain proteins in our body does not happen correctly, we can fall ill? Cervical cancer and cystic fibrosis--a disease that attacks the lungs and digestive system causing progressive disability-are examples of such illness. It is thus important that we understand how protein degradation happens so we can develop drugs against these and other diseases.

Know more about this basic chemical process when the International Peace Foundation (IPF) brings to the Philippines Professor Aaron J. Ciechanover as part of the "Bridges: Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace."

A distinguished research professor in the Faculty of Medicine of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Ciechanover shared the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Professors Avram Hershko and Irwin Rose for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, a mechanism by which the cells of most living organisms cull unwanted proteins.

Ciechanover will talk about "Life and death - Why our proteins have to die so we shall live," on the following dates and campuses:
# Thursday, April 3 at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City
# Friday, April 4 at the Angeles University in Angeles City, Pampanga
# Monday, April 7 at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila

The Israeli Nobel Laureate is expected to shed light on why protein degradation occurs, the mechanism that carries out such function, the diseases that result if the mechanism does not work properly, and how such diseases can be cured.

Open to the public free of charge, all campus lectures start at 2:00 pm.

The "Bridges" program was initiated and facilitated by the Vienna-based IPF under the mutual patronage of 21 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. The ongoing dialogues cover a wide range of issues in the fields of politics, economy, science, culture and the media. The program aims at building bridges through Nobel Laureates with local universities and other institutions in Southeast Asia to establish long-term relationships which may result in common research programs and other forms of collaboration.

"By enhancing science, technology and education as a basis for peace and development, the events may lead to a better cooperation for the advancement of peace, freedom and security in the region with the active involvement of the young generation, ASEAN's key to the future," said IPF Founding Chair Uwe Morawetz.

Ciechanover is the fourth Nobel Laureate to visit the Philippines since Bridges was launched in November 2007.

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Washington SyCip mutually chair the Philippine leg of the "Bridges" program.