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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Baruj Benacerraf - Facts

Baruj Benacerraf

Baruj Benacerraf

Born: 29 October 1920, Caracas, Venezuela

Died: 2 August 2011, Boston, MA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

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

Field: immunity

Prize share: 1/3


Our immune system rejects damaged or abnormal cells, allowing our bodies to function properly. During the 1960s Baruj Benaceraff showed through studies of guinea pigs that the immune system's reaction to certain substances is determined by genes that exist in a certain area on a certain chromosome. George Snell and Jean Dausset had previously shown that genes that govern rejection of foreign cells exist in similar areas in mice and in people. Baruj Benaceraff's results shed light on the interplay among different parts of the immune system.

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