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Monday, October 3, 2011

NOBEL PRIZE 2011-Immune system discoveries win medicine Nobel

Three scientists who unlocked secrets of the body's immune system, opening doors to new vaccines and treatments for cancer, won the 2011 Nobel prize for medicine on Monday. 
American Bruce Beutler and French biologist Jules Hoffmann, who studied the first stages of immune responses to attack, shared the $1.5 million award with Canadian-born Ralp Steinman, working in the United States, whose discovery of dendritic cells is the key to understanding the later stages.


Bruce A. Beutler was born in 1957 in Chicago, USA. He received his MD 
from the University of Chicago in 1981 and worked as a scientist at Rockefeller 
University in New York and the University of Texas in Dallas, where he 
discovered the LPS receptor. Since 2000 he has been professor of genetics 
and immunology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA.

Jules A. Hoffmann was born in Echternach, Luxembourg in 1941. 
He studied at the University of Strasbourg in France, where he obtained his 
PhD in 1969. After postdoctoral training at the University of Marburg, 
Germany, he returned to Strasbourg, where he headed a research 
laboratory from 1974 to 2009. He has also served as director of the Institute 
for Molecular Cell Biology in Strasbourg and during 2007-2008 as 
President of the French National Academy of Sciences.

Ralph M. Steinman was born in 1943 in Montreal, Canada, where he 
studied biology and chemistry at McGill University. After studying medicine 
at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA, he received his MD in 1968. 
He has been affiliated with Rockefeller University in New York since 1970, 
has been professor of immunology at this institution since 1988, 
and is also director of its Center for Immunology 
and Immune Diseases.


"This year's Nobel laureates have revolutionised our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation," the award panel at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in a statement in Stockholm. 
Lars Klareskog, who chairs the prize-giving Nobel Assembly, said: "I am very excited about what these discoveries mean. I think that we will have new, better vaccines against microbes and that is very much needed now with the increased resistance against antibiotics. 
"I also expect that there will be some development in the area of attacking cancers from the self-immune system. There are some promising things there." 
Annika Scheynius, a professor of clinical allergy research and a member of the panel, said: "We are definitely sure that these discoveries will lead to health improvement ... They can improve the health of patients with cancer, inflammatory diseases, auto-immune diseases, asthma." 
Beutler, 53, is based at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Luxembourg-born Hoffmann, 70, conducted much of his work in Strasbourg. They will share half the 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.46 million) of prize-money. The rest goes to Steinman, 68, from Rockefeller University in New York.Read more

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