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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1980
Baruj Benacerraf, Jean Dausset, George D. Snell

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Jean Dausset - Facts

Jean Dausset

Jean Dausset

Born: 19 October 1916, Toulouse, France

Died: 6 June 2009, Palma, Majorca, Spain

Affiliation at the time of the award: Université de Paris, Laboratoire Immuno-Hématologie, Paris, France

Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions"

Field: immunity, transplantation immunology

Prize share: 1/3

Work

Our immune system rejects damaged or abnormal cells, allowing our bodies to function properly. During transplants, this can also happen to the foreign cells. After George Snell had shown how this happens with mice, during the 1950s Jean Dausset showed that rejection of foreign cells function in a similar way for humans. The body's cells sense their surroundings through molecular complexes on the surface of the cells. These molecular complexes are governed by a certain group of genes on a certain chromosome. Among other things, this knowledge proved significant for transplants.

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