Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded – half to Beutler and Hoffman and half to Steinman

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded today and the 3 winners are in the field of immunology.

The prize was divided, one half jointly to Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann “for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity” and the other half to Ralph M. Steinman “for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity“.

The Thomson Reuter predictions – this time – missed the mark.

Official press release here. 

Summary

This year’s Nobel Laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation.

Scientists have long been searching for the gatekeepers of the immune response by which man and other animals defend themselves against attack by bacteria and other microorganisms. Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann discovered receptor proteins that can recognize such microorganisms and activate innate immunity, the first step in the body’s immune response. Ralph Steinman discovered the dendritic cells of the immune system and their unique capacity to activate and regulate adaptive immunity, the later stage of the immune response during which microorganisms are cleared from the body.

The discoveries of the three Nobel Laureates have revealed how the innate and adaptive phases of the immune response are activated and thereby provided novel insights into disease mechanisms. Their work has opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer, and inflammatory diseases.

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3 Responses to “Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded – half to Beutler and Hoffman and half to Steinman”

  1. Breaking! Nobel laureate Steinman died last Friday — and posthumous awards are not allowed. « The k2p blog Says:

    […] morning Ralph M. Steinman was one of 3 scientists awarded the Nobel prize for medicine ”for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive […]

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