October 1, 1947
Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Aaron Ciechanover is born in Haifa to parents who emigrated from Poland before World War II. His father Isaac is an attorney and his mother Bluma is an clerk and English teacher. After graduating from high school in 1965, he begins his medical studies at Hadassah. Upon obtaining his medical degree, he enlists in the IDF. He serves in the Medical Corps from 1973, first as a combat physician on a Israeli Navy cruiser and subsequently at the Chief Medical Officer Headquarters in the Research and Development Unit. In 1981, after receiving his Ph.D., Ciechanover goes on to pursue post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1984, after completing his studies, he returns to Israel and establishes an elite research lab in the biochemistry department of the Technion’s Faculty of Medicine. In this lab, Ciechanover trains many graduate students, impacting a generation of Israeli scientific and medical researchers. In 2004, he shares the Nobel for chemistry with fellow Israeli Avram Hershko and American Irwin Rose for characterizing the method cells use to degrade and recycle proteins with ubiquitin. As one of Israel’s first Nobel laureates in science, he plays a central role in the history of the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology. Ciechanover is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.