Nobelprize.org
Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1987
Susumu Tonegawa

Share this:

Susumu Tonegawa - Facts

Susumu Tonegawa

Susumu Tonegawa

Born: 6 September 1939, Nagoya, Japan

Affiliation at the time of the award: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: "for his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity"

Field: immunity

Prize share: 1/1

Work

The immune system includes antibodies that neutralize substances foreign to the body and microorganisms. Antibodies are formed in a type of white blood cell, B lymphocytes. Antibodies are proteins, and their production is governed by genes. There are hundreds of millions of different antibodies, which vastly outnumber the combined total of human genes. In 1976 Susumu Tonegawa showed how this is possible through the redistribution of genes in a cell during its development into an antibody-producing B lymphocyte.

Share this:
To cite this page
MLA style: "Susumu Tonegawa - Facts". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 6 Dec 2016. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1987/tonegawa-facts.html>

Recommended: