The winners are Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity. Sadly, the third and primary recipient of the prestigious award died just a few days shy of formally receiving it:
Ralph Steinman, a biologist with Rockefeller University, “discovered the immune system’s sentinel dendritic cells and demonstrated that science can fruitfully harness the power of these cells and other components of the immune system to curb infections and other communicable diseases,” the university said in a statement Monday. Steinman died Friday at the age of 68. “He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago, and his life was extended using a dendritic-cell based immunotherapy of his own design,” the university said.
Immunity, wat many researchers see as the final frontier, is a topic near and dear to me: I suffer from Anklyosing Spondilitis, a condition fairly well controlled with a very expensive drug. Congratulations to all three, and condolences to Dr Steinman’s family.