Three share Nobel in Medicine
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
Washington: The US'
Rockefeller University said its Canadian-born cell biologist Ralph
Steinman died three days before being awarded the Nobel Prize
Monday as the Nobel committee was unaware of his death at the
"Steinman passed away on Sep 30," the New York university said in
a statement, reported Xinhua.
"He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago, and his
life was extended using a dendritic-cell based immunotherapy of
his own design."
The Nobel committee was unaware of Steinman's death when
announcing this year's winners and it was unclear whether the
prize would be rescinded because Nobel statutes don't allow
"The Rockefeller University is delighted that the Nobel Foundation
has recognized Ralph Steinman for his seminal discoveries
concerning the body's immune responses," says Rockefeller
University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne.
"But the news is bittersweet, as we also learned this morning from
Ralph's family that he passed a few days ago after a long battle
with cancer. Our thoughts are with Ralph's wife, children and
"We are all so touched that our father's many years of hard work
are being recognized with a Nobel Prize," said Steinman's daughter
Alexis. "He devoted his life to his work and his family, and he
would be truly honored."
"Ralph's research has laid the foundation for numerous discoveries
in the critically important field of immunology, and it has led to
innovative new approaches in how we treat cancer, infectious
diseases and disorders of the immune system," said Tessier-Lavigne.
Steinman, who discovered the immune system's sentinel dendritic
cells, is this year's recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology
or Medicine. He shares half the prize with Bruce Beutler and Jules