The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1919
Born: 13 June 1870, Soignies, Belgium
Died: 6 April 1961, Brussels, Belgium
Affiliation at the time of the award: Brussels University, Brussels, Belgium
Prize motivation: "for his discoveries relating to immunity."
Jules Bordet received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1920.
Prize share: 1/1
Our immune system protects us from attacks by microorganisms and poisonous substances. The blood includes factors or bodies that destroy bacteria. Through studies of cholera in 1896, Jules Bordet showed that this depends on the collaboration of two types of factors in the blood: antibodies formed by immunization against specific bacteria and complement proteins that also exist in blood that is not immunized. Antibodies and complement proteins are bound to one another, which can be used to detect certain diseases, including syphilis.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.