Nobel Prize to HFSP alumni Jules Hoffmann and Ralph M. Steinman

HFSP congratulates former HFSP grant awardees Jules Hoffmann and Ralph M. Steinman for receiving the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Jules Hoffmann, Emeritus Senior Researcher at the CNRS and Professor at the University of Strasbourg receives the Nobel Prize hot on the heels of the recent award of the CNRS Gold Medal for his pioneering work on "discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity". He was coordinator of an HFSP research grant in 1995 on "Phylogenetic perspectives of the innate immune response" with Charles Janeway (Yale University, USA), Alan Ezekowitz (Harvard Medical School, USA), Fotis Kafatos (Imperial Colege, London, UK) and Shunji Natori (National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Japan). The 2011 Nobel Prize honours the work of Jules Hoffmann and Bruce A. Beutler of The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA, for their pioneering work on innate immunity. For this they share half the 2011 Prize. A key, highly cited paper of the work, citing HFSP support, has been made freely available by Cell Press (Cell, Volume 86, Issue 6, 973-983, 20 September 1996)

The third scientist to be named for the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine is Ralph M. Steinman of Rockefeller University, USA "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity". He twice received HFSP Research Grants: the first was in 1996 with Ten Feizi (UK), Kayo Inaba (Japan) and Michel Nussenzweig (USA) on "Defining the ligands for DEC-205, a novel receptor for antigen capture"; the second award was made in 2006 with Vincent Piguet (Switzerland), Joerg Enderlein (Germany) and Mark Marsh (UK) for work on the "infectious synapse and transmission of disease". We are very sad to learn that Ralph Steinman tragically passed away on September 30th.

To date, 18 HFSP alumni have won a Nobel Prize following receipt of their HFSP awards.