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Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011: Jules Hoffmann

This year the prizes were awarded by the Nobel Committee for work that "has opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer and inflammatory diseases," explains the selection committee.

Born in Luxembourg in 1941, Jules Hoffmann went to university in Strasbourg, where he obtained a PhD in experimental biology. He joined CNRS in 1964, and then set up the CNRS laboratory on 'Immune response and development in insects', which he ran until 2006. This laboratory was part of the CNRS Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, of which he was also Director from 1994 to 2006. His many discoveries in this field have led to a new understanding of the defence mechanisms used by organisms, from the most primitive to the human body, against infectious agents.

The Nobel Committee explained how Jules Hoffmann, 70, and Bruce Beutler, 55, had "discovered receptor proteins that can recognize such microorganisms and activate innate immunity, the first step in the body's immune response".

For Andr Syrota, President of Aviesan, "This new Nobel Prize awarded just three years after the Nobel Prize received by Franoise Barr Sinoussi and Luc Montaignier demonstrates, if such proof were necessary, the excellence of French academic research in the life sciences." He sends his warmest congratulations to Jules Hoffmann and to CNRS and Strasbourg University.

President of the French Academy of Science in 2007 and 2008, Jules Hoffmann is also a member of the Academies of Science of the US, Germany and Russia. He is the recipient of many prestigious prizes such as the recent Rosenstiel Award for Immunity (2010), the Keio Medical Science Prize (2011), the Gairdner Award 2011 in medical science, and the Shaw Prize 2011 in Life Science and Medicine. He has just been awarded the 2011 CNRS Gold Medal.


Contact: Juliette Hardy
INSERM (Institut national de la sant et de la recherche mdicale)

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