Canadian Nobel Winner Dies Before Receiving Award

by J-Stacknik

Dr. Steinman passed away at the age of 68 and will be posthumously awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine at ceremonies in Stockholm on December 10, 2011.

Dr. Ralph Steinman a Canadian born scientist was awarded the Nobel Prize Monday October 3, 2011, but he passed away on Friday September 30, 2011. Ralph Steinman along with American Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann of France were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries about the human immune system and finding new ways of preventing and treating common diseases ó from bacterial infections to cancer.

Steinman died of pancreatic cancer but credits his own discoveries with helping him to live longer with the disease.

Dr. Steinman received his undergraduate degree from McGill University in 1963 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After an internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, he joined Rockefeller University, where he had been a Senior Physician and head of the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology. Dr. Steinman was still employed by Rockefeller University at the time of his death.

At first, Dr. Steinman’s death presented a problem for the Nobel committee. The Nobel committee had been unaware of his death and because their statute states that they don’t allow posthumous awards unless a laureate dies after the announcement but before the December 10th award ceremony. Nobel officials said they believed it was the first time that a laureate had died before the announcement without the committee’s knowledge. Officials have since decided to award Dr. Steinman the prize.

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