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Nobel Prize 2011

alfred_nobel_1885The International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) celebrates awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Drs. Bruce Beutler, Scripps Research Institute, Jules Hoffmann of the French National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) and Ralph Steinman of Rockefeller University, New York.

At the same time it is with our greatest regret that we hear of Ralph Steinman’s death on September 30, before presentation of this highly deserved honor.

IUIS is proud that the Nobel Committee considered a topic of immunology worthy of the Nobel Prize which led to new intervention methods against infection, cancer and inflammation. Jules Hoffmann and Bruce Beutler revealed recognition of pathogens by specific receptors for unique molecular patterns on microbes, notably, the Toll-like receptors. Ralph Steinman discovered the dendritic cells as the most potent stimulators of acquired immune responses. Hence, we now better understand the molecular and cellular prerequisites for recognition of foreign invaders by the host immune system and how the innate instructs the acquired immune system. This forms the basis for novel therapeutic and preventive measures against infections, inflammatory and malignant diseases.

Stefan H.E. Kaufmann
President IUIS,
Director Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology