Stockholm: Three scientists Monday won the 2011 Nobel Prize in
Medicine for their discoveries of the immune system that opened up
new avenues for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases.
American Bruce A. Beutler and French scientist Jules A. Hoffmann
were honoured for their discoveries "concerning the activation of
innate immunity" and Canadian Ralph M. Steinman for his "discovery
of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity".
"This year's Nobel laureates have revolutionized our understanding
of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activition," the Nobel Committee said in a statement while
announcing the recipients.
"Their work has opened up new avenues for the development of
prevention and therapy against infections, cancer and inflammatory
diseases," Xinhua reported quoting the statement.
The discoveries revealed how the innate and adaptive phases of the
immune response are activated and thereby provided novel insights
into disease mechanism, the jury noted.
The winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics will be announced
Tuesday, followed by chemistry Wednesday, literature Thursday,
peace Friday and economics next Monday.
The annual Nobel prizes are usually announced in October and are
handed out Dec 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of Alfred
Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite.
Nobel dedicated his vast fortune to create prizes to those who
conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.
The prizes have been awarded since 1901. Each prize consists of a
medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 10 million Swedish
kronor (about $1.46 million).