Steinman (Rockefeller University)The Nobel Prize Committee announced three winners of the coveted $1.5 million prize in medicine this morning. But one of them, unbeknownst to the committee, had died only three days earlier.
The Nobel Committee decided that the deceased honoree, Ralph Steinman, will still receive the award, even though committee rules prohibit giving it out posthumously.
Steinman was honored with a Nobel for discovering dendritic cells 20 years ago. The cells spur the body's immune system to purge itself of infection, and their discovery has laid the groundwork for treatments that fight off cancer and other diseases.
Steinman's own four-year battle with pancreatic cancer was aided by a "dendritic-cell based immunotherapy of his own design," according to Rockefeller University, where Steinman directed the Center for Immunology and Immune Disease.Read More »from Scientist dies three days before winning Nobel Prize