|Georges J.F. Köhler|
AKA Georges Jean Franz Köhler
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Location of death: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Cause of death: Accident - Misc
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Hybridoma technique (monoclonal antibodies)
Georges J.F. Köhler was in his first academic post, doing post-doctorate work as a research fellow under César Milstein at Cambridge, when they developed the hybridoma technique. This was the first practical method for mass-producing monoclonal antibodies -- forcing immune system cells to produce pure antibodies against a chosen antigen. Their breakthrough is considered one of the most important techniques of biotechnology, but Köhler and Milstein decided not to patent their work, which has allowed it to be used and adopted more widely than if royalties had been required. This led to the speedy development of several drugs and toxins used for diagnostics and for fighting cancer, leukemia, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Köhler and Milstein were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1984, sharing the honor with Danish doctor Niels K. Jerne.
Köhler was not yet 30 when he did his most famous work, 38 years old when he won the Nobel, and 48 when he was killed in a fire that engulfed his laboratory.
Wife: Claudia Köhler (biologist)
University: BS Biology, University of Freiburg (1971)
University: PhD Biology, University of Freiburg (1974)
Scholar: Immunology, Cambridge University (1974-76)
Scholar: Immunology, Basel Institute for Immunology (1976-85)
Administrator: Director, Max Planck Institute for Immune Biology (1985-95)
Lasker Award 1984
Nobel Prize for Medicine 1984 (with CÚsar Milstein and Niels K. Jerne)
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