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Nobel Prize winner Irwin Rose dies at 88

American biochemist Irwin Rose, winner of the 2004 Noble Prize in Chemistry, died Tuesday at the age of 88, said the University of California, Irvine, where Rose had been a researcher.

According to his family members, Rose passed away in his sleep in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Rose shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko of the Israel Institute of Technology in 2004 for his groundbreaking work on enzymes that break down and dispose of unwanted proteins in plants and animals.

His research helped scientists better understand molecular activities in cancer and other diseases.

Rose was born in Brooklyn and spent his teenage years in Spokane, Washington. He earned a doctoral degree at the University of Chicago in 1952 and spent most of his career as a research scientist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

After retiring to Laguna Beach, California, in 1997, Rose continued his studies with a special research position in UCI’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics, where he became a popular student mentor.

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