2011 Nobel Prize winner Ralph Steinman passes away, days before announcement

By on Oct 4, 2011 in Europe, Health, United States Comments

Ralph Steinman, one of the three winners of 2011 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, passed away, just days before the announcement of the winners was made.

Ralph Steinman file photo
Image Credit: Rockefeller.edu

As noted by Rockefeller University on its official website on Monday, October 3, 2011, Steinman passed away on Friday, September 30 at the age of 68. He worked with the university as a cell biologist.

“The Rockefeller University is delighted that the Nobel Foundation has recognized Ralph Steinman for his seminal discoveries concerning the body’s immune responses,” Rockefeller University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D was quoted on the report.

“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.” He added, who condoles with the loss of Steinman.

As announced on Monday, the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine went to three scientists, held in Stockholm, Sweden, including Ralph Steinman, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago.

According to to the Nobel Prize committee, Steinman received half of the award and the remaining half was shared by two others, Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann.

Ralph M. Steinman, a Canadian-born ‘Magna cum laude’ of Harvard Medical School, was honored for “his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity”, which the university said a kind of therapy that extended his life.

Meanwhile, awarding a Nobel Prize posthumously is not allowed unless the winner dies after the award is announced. The Nobel Prize committee noted that they were not aware of Steinman‘s loss.

As of this writing, it is not yet clear on how this case will be dealt by the Nobel Prize committee, which was said to be the first time that a Nobel Prize winner passed away without their knowledge.

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