In October 2004, Irwin Rose was awarded the Nobel
Prize in Chemistry along with Israelis Aaron
Ciechanover and Avram
Hershko. The three scientists discovered the major pathway through
which cellular building blocks, known as ubiquitin proteins, are regulated
and degenerated. This feat has opened the door to new means of developing
drugs that are able to fight such illnesses as cancer, cystic fibrosis,
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease: thus enhancing and prolonging the
lives of many.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on July 16, 1926, Rose attended
Hebrew school, but became a “confirmed secularist” at age
10. He grew up in Spokane, Washington. He later studied at Washington
State College and then served in the U.S. Navy as a radio technician
near the end of World War II. He completed his undergraduate degree
under the G.I. Bill of Rights in 1949 at the University of Chicago and
went on to earn his doctorate in biochemistry there. He served on the
faculty of Yale Medical School’s biochemistry department from
1954 to 1963. In 1963, he became a senior member of the Fox Chase Cancer
Center in Philadelphia, where he stayed until retiring in 1995. While
at Fox Chase, he became a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Rose was a specialist with the Department
of Physiology and Biophysics at the UC Irvine College of Medicine in
Rose and his wife lived in Leisure World in Orange County,
are active in the retirement community's Concerned Citizens group, and,
he said, expressed their Jewish identity mainly through their ties with Israel.
Irwin Rose passed away in his sleep at 88 years of age on June 2, 2015, in Deerfield, Massachusetts.