American Philosophical Society
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Resident (1)
202. Cellular and Developmental Biology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Alexander Varshavsky
 Institution:  California Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  2001
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  202. Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1946
Alexander Varshavsky is the co-founder, together with Avram Hershko (Technion, Haifa, Israel), of the field of ubiquitin and regulated protein degradation. In the 1980s, Dr. Varshavsky and coworkers discovered the first physiological functions of ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis (in the cell cycle, DNA repair, ribosome biogenesis and stress responses), the first degradation signals in short-lived proteins, and several crucial mechanistic attributes of the ubiquitin system. Thanks to this singularly important work, studies of the ubiquitin system have become a major arena of modern biology. Other contributions by Dr. Varshavsky include his discovery of the first exposed (nucleosome-free) regions in chromosomes, elucidation of the catenane-based mechanism for segregation of daughter DNA during chromosome replication, and several widely used biochemical and genetic methods. A graduate of the Institute of Molecular Biology, Moscow (1973), Dr. Varshavsky served on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1977-92 before moving to the California Institute of Technology, where he is Howard and Gwen Laurie Smits Professor of Cell Biology. In 2008 he received a EUREKA grant from the National Institutes of Health and the inaugural Gotham Prize for Cancer Research, an annual million dollar award established to encourage new and innovative approaches to cancer research. He was awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Science in 2012 and the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, founded by Yuri Milnor, in 2013.
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