Life Sciences - Caltech
Varshavsky elucidated key processes involved in protein degradation, the system by which cells break down and recycle proteins and so regulate the main activity of the cell. Varshavsky showed that this process is regulated by a protein called ubiquitin. Protein degradation before Varshavsky had been seen as a simple, mundane affair. He revolutionized the field, showing it to be both complex and critical.