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Stars that died 2010

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ralph M. Steinman, Canadian immunologist, announced as 2011 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, died from pancreatic cancer he was 68.

Ralph Marvin Steinman [3] was a Canadian immunologist and cell biologist at Rockefeller University, who in 1973 coined the term dendritic cells while working as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Zanvil A. Cohn, also at Rockefeller University.[4] Steinman was one of the recipients of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

(January 14, 1943 – September 30, 2011)

Early life and education

Ralph Steinman was born into an Ashkenazi Jewish family in Montreal,[5][6][7] one of four children of Irving Steinman (d. 1995) and Nettie Steinman (née Takefman, b. 1917).[8][9][10] The family soon moved to Sherbrooke, where the father opened and ran a small clothing store "Mozart's". After graduating from Sherbrooke High School, Steinman moved back to Montreal where he stayed with his maternal grandparents Nathan and Eva Takefman.[11][12] He received a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University and received his M.D. (magna cum laude)[1] in 1968 from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.[13]


On October 3, 2011, the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine announced that he had received one-half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for "his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity". The other half went to Bruce Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann, for "their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity".[14] However, the committee was not aware that he had died three days earlier, on September 30, from pancreatic cancer. This created a complication, since the statutes of the Nobel Foundation stipulate that the prize is not to be awarded posthumously.[15][16] After deliberation, the committee decided that as the decision to award the prize "was made in good faith", it would remain unchanged.[17][18]
Steinman's daughter said that he had joked the previous week with his family about staying alive until the prize announcement. Steinman said: "I know I have got to hold out for that. They don't give it to you if you have passed away. I got to hold out for that."[19]
Steinman had received numerous other awards and recognitions for his life-long work on dendritic cells, such as the Albert Lasker Award For Basic Medical Research (2007), the Gairdner Foundation International Award (2003), and the Cancer Research Institute William B. Coley Award (1998). In addition, he was made a member of Institute of Medicine (U.S.A.; elected 2002) and the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.; elected 2001).

List of awards

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

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