This is one of the saddest stories I’ve ever heard in science. Today,the Nobel Prize Committee awarded the Nobel Prize to Bruce A. Beutler (USA), Jules A. Hoffmann (France) “for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity” and to Ralph M. Steinman (USA or Canada) “for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity”. Later today they found out Steinman died of pancreatic cancer last Friday. From the news:
The Nobel committee had been unaware of Ralph Steinman’s death and it was unclear whether the prize would be rescinded because Nobel statutes don’t allow posthumous awards.
Steinman, 68, who shared the prize with American Bruce Beutler and French scientist Jules Hoffmann, died on Sept. 30 of pancreatic cancer, acccording to Rockefeller University, which said he had been treated with immunotherapy based on his discovery of dendritic cells two decades earlier.