• France's news in English

French scientist wins Nobel medicine prize

Matthew Warren · 3 Oct 2011, 13:56

Published: 03 Oct 2011 14:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Oct 2011 13:56 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Jules Hoffmann, a French biologist and former president of the French National Academy of Sciences, was among three scientists to win the 2011 Nobel prize for medicine for work on understanding how the immune system is activated. 

Hoffmann will share half the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.45 million) award with Bruce Beutler, professor of genetics at the Scripps Research Institute in California.

"Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann discovered receptor proteins that can recognize such microorganisms and activate innate immunity, the first step in the body's immune response," the committee said in a written statement.

Ralph Steinman, professor of immunology at the Rockefeller University in New York, received the other half of the award for his work on discovering the dendritic cells which regulate the immune system and clear micro-organisms from the body.

Jules Hoffmann was born in Luxembourg in 1941 and studied at the University of Strasbourg where he obtained his Ph.D. in Experimental Biology in 1969. He joined the national centre for scientific research (CNRS) in 1964

He was president of the French National Academy of Sciences in 2007 and 2008 and is currently a professor at the Institute for Molecular Cell Biology in Strasbourg. 

He has a string of awards and titles to his name including, most recently, France's top scientific distinction, the CNRS Gold Medal, which he was awarded in September. He is also a member of the Academy of Sciences of the USA, Germany and Russia.

France has a good record of achievement in Nobel prizes, with a total of 58 awards going to its citizens, including two for medicine in 2008 which went to Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi. Only Germany, the UK and the USA have had more Nobel prizes awarded to their nationals.

The announcement marked the start of a week of Nobel awards. On Tuesday, the committee will announce its award for physics, with chemistry following on Wednesday. The Nobel peace prize will be announced on Friday.


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2011-10-03 19:36:15 by MOI
BRAVO France!
Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available