Jules Hoffmann, Nobel Laureate
On Monday, October 3, Jules Hoffmann and Bruce Beutler jointly won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Medicine with cell biologist Ralph Steinmann. Hoffmann, a Franco-Luxembourgeois biologist, and Beutler, an American immunologist, share the prize “for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity.”
Hoffmann and Beutler are responsible for the discovery of key agents in the immune system’s activation, the "gatekeepers" of the human body’s natural defenses, according to an official communiqué from the Nobel website. "Beutler [and] Hoffmann discovered receptor proteins that can recognize such microorganisms and activate innate immunity, the first step in the body’s immune response," said the site.
Hoffmann and Beutler’s discoveries may usher in sweeping changes in modern medicine, including the improvement of prevention and treatment of infections, cancer and other inflammatory illnesses.
The Ambassador of France to the United States, François Delattre, as well as the French Embassy in the United States warmly congratulate Hoffmann, Beutler and Steinmann for their historic accomplishments and joins the Nobel committee in recognizing their contributions to medical science.
From the Nobel website:
Jules A. Hoffmann was born in Echternach, Luxembourg in 1941. He studied at the University of Strasbourg in France, where he obtained his Ph.D 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.