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Avram Hershko

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Avram Hershko
Hershko in 1994
Ferenc Ábrahám Herskó

(1937-12-31) December 31, 1937 (age 86)
  • Hungary
  • Israel
Alma materHebrew University of Jerusalem
Known forUbiquitin-mediated protein degradation
Judith Leibowitz
(m. 1963)
AwardsWeizmann Prize (1987)
Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2004)
Scientific career
InstitutionsTechnion, Haifa

Avram Hershko (Hebrew: אברהם הרשקו, romanizedAvraham Hershko, Hungarian: Herskó Ferenc Ábrahám;[1] born December 31, 1937) is a Hungarian-Israeli biochemist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004.



He was born Herskó Ferenc in Karcag, Hungary, into a Jewish family,[2] the son of Shoshana/Margit 'Manci' (née Wulc) and Moshe Hershko, both teachers.[3] During the Second World War, his father was forced into labor service in the Hungarian army and then taken as a prisoner by the Soviet Army. For years, Avram's family didn't known anything about what had happened to his father. Avram, his mother and older brother Chaim/Laszlo 'Laci' were put in a ghetto in Szolnok. During the final days of the ghetto, most Jews were sent to be murdered in Auschwitz, but Avram and his family managed to board trains that took them to a concentration camp in Austria, where they were forced into labor until the end of the war. Avram and his mother and brother survived the war and returned to their home. His father returned as well, 4 years after they had last seen him.[4]

Hershko and his family emigrated to Israel in 1950 and settled in Jerusalem. He received his MD in 1965 and his PhD in 1969 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem-Hadassah Medical Center. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Francisco. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion in Haifa and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine.

Along with Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. The ubiquitin-proteasome system has a critical role in maintaining the homeostasis of cells and is believed to be involved in the development and progression of diseases such as cancer, muscular and neurological diseases, and immune and inflammatory responses.

His contributions to science directly helped cure one of his long-time friends of cancer.[5]

Honours and awards




Involvement with biotechnology


Hershko serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Oramed Pharmaceuticals.[10]

See also



  1. ^ "Hungary's Nobel Prize Winners". www.mta.hu. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  2. ^ JINFO. "Jewish Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry". www.jinfo.org. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  3. ^ Avram Hershko on Nobelprize.org Edit this at Wikidata including the Nobel Lecture The Ubiquitin System for Protein Degradation and some of its Roles in the Control of the Cell Division Cycle
  4. ^ "אברהם הרשקו".
  5. ^ Friedman, Sally (September 13, 2011). "Nobel Prize winner's discovery helps save longtime physician friend". Burlington County Times. phillyBurbs.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1994" (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on December 27, 2008.
  7. ^ "Wolf Prize Recipients in Medicine". Archived from the original on February 26, 2009.
  8. ^ Iddo Genuth (July 29, 2005). "Two Israeli Scientists Have Won The Nobel Prize In Chemistry". isracast.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2005.
  9. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  10. ^ "Nobel Laureate, Oramed SAB member Prof. Avram Hershko and Oramed CSO Dr. Miriam Kidron to be Featured on Biotalknology Webinar "Oral Delivery of Therapeutic Proteins – Oramed Story" on November 18, 2020". Oramed Pharmaceuticals. November 18, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2023.