2 American doctors win Nobel for immunology work

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 17, 2011

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Two U.S. physicians were awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in medicine for their research into the immune system. Half of the $1.4 million prize went to Bruce A. Beutler, MD, chair of the Dept. of Genetics at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and Jules A. Hoffman, PhD, for "their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity."

The Nobel assembly awarded the other half of the prize to Ralph M. Steinman, MD, for "his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity." Dr. Steinman died of pancreatic cancer three days before the award was announced. He was a professor in the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology at Rockefeller University in New York.

"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," the prize committee said in its announcement. "Their work has opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer and inflammatory diseases."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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