Hebrew University professor wins Wolf Prize in Medicine for work in cancer research


Prof. Alexander Levitzki
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Alexander Levitzki, the Wolfson Famly Professor of Biochemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been named as one of the three winners of the 2005 Wolf Prize in Medicine. All three recipients were awarded the prize for their research in cancer development and treatment.

The Wolf Prize is recognized as being among the world's most prestigious prizes in science and the arts. The prizes will be awarded by Israeli President Moshe Katsav at a ceremony to be held on May 22 at the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

The other two prize winners in medicine are Prof. Anthony R. Hunter of the Salk Institute of La Jolla, CA, in the U.S. and Prof. Anthony J. Pawson of the Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada.

Prof. Levitzki, of the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University, was specifically cited for his work in developing techniques for targeted destruction of cancer cells through biochemical means, without harming normal cells. His work has led to successful therapy in treating leukemia patients, the Wolf Prize jury noted.

Prof. Levitzki, 64, was born in Israel and received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was appointed as associate professor at the Hebrew University in 1975 and a full professor the following year. He has served in various positions at the university, including heading the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, the Institute of Advanced Studies and the Wolfson Center for Applied Structural Biology. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and has been a visiting scientist at the U.S. National Cancer Institute and a visiting scholar at Stanford University in California. He is the winner of the Israel Prize, Israel's highest civilian honor.

The Wolf Prize is awarded by the Wolf Foundation, established by the late German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist, Dr. Ricardo Wolf. A resident of Cuba for many years, Wolf became Fidel' Castro's ambassador to Israel, where he lived until his death in 1981. Five annual Wolf Prizes have been awarded since 1978 to outstanding scientist and artists. The prizes are for $100,000 in each field.

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