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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2012 Mar;17(2):139-43. doi: 10.1007/s12192-012-0320-z. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Ferruccio Ritossa's scientific legacy 50 years after his discovery of the heat shock response: a new view of biology, a new society, and a new journal.

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University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


The pioneering discovery of the heat shock response by the Italian scientist Ferruccio Ritossa reached maturity this year, 2012. It was 50 years ago that Professor Ritossa, through an extraordinary combination of serendipity, curiosity, knowledge and inspiration, published the first observation that cells could mount very strong transcriptional activity when exposed to elevated temperatures, which was coined the heat shock response. This discovery led to the identification of heat shock proteins, which impact many areas of current biology and medicine, and has created a new avenue for more exciting discoveries. In recognition of the discovery of the heat shock response, Cell Stress Society International (CSSI) awarded Professor Ritossa with the CSSI medallion in October 2010 in Dozza, Italy. This article is based on a session of the Fifth CSSI Congress held in Québec commemorating Professor Ritossa and his discovery.

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