George D. Snell
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1980
Born: 19 December 1903, Bradford, MA, USA
Died: 6 June 1996, Bar Harbor, ME, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, USA
Prize motivation: “for their discoveries concerning genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions”
Prize share: 1/3
Our immune system rejects damaged or abnormal cells, allowing our bodies to function properly. During transplants, this can also happen to the foreign cells. Through studies of mice with a very similar genetic make-up, George Snell showed that these rejections are caused by molecular complexes on the surface of the cells. In 1951 he also showed that rejection is governed by a group of genes on a special place on a certain chromosome. Among other things, the results proved significant for transplants.
Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
See them all presented here.