Nobel Prize in medicine shared for work in immunology

Three scientists, including one who died just days ago, have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011.

October 3, 2011

From left to right: Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann and Ralph M. Steinman

The trio, from the US, Canada and Luxembourg, are the first of this year’s Nobel winners, and responsible for discovering key principles for the activation of the immune system.

Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann were named as joint winners today for their discoveries in the field of innate immunity, while Ralph M. Steinman, who died on 30 September, was named as the third laureate for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

Professor Beutler, who is from the US, is professor of genetics and immunology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla; Dr Hoffmann, who is from Luxembourg, spent much of his career at the University of Strasbourg and is a former president of the French National Academy of Sciences; and Professor Steinman, who was Canadian, was professor of immunology at Rockefeller University in New York.

All three winners were highlighted as contenders in the recent Nobel Prize predictions compiled by Thomson Reuters analyst David Pendlebury.

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