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Ralph M. Steinman

AKA Ralph Marvin Steinman

Born: 14-Jan-1943
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died: 30-Sep-2011
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Cancer - Pancreatic

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Biologist, Doctor

Nationality: Canada
Executive summary: Dendritic cells

Canadian biologist Ralph M. Steinman discovered a previously unknown cell type, the dendritic cell, in 1973. Dendritic cells are antigen-presenting cells (APCs) which play a critical role in the adaptive immune response, activating T-cells and orchestrating the immune system's defensive response to infected or malignant cells. His discovery allowed the subsequent development of the first cancer vaccine, Dendreon's Provenge, which has been used on patients with advanced prostate cancer.

With Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann, Steinman was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2011, but after several years of experimental treatment, including some therapies derived from his own research, Steinman died of pancreatic cancer just days before the award was announced. Nobel Prize rules prohibit posthumous awards but Steinman's honor was allowed to stand, because the Committee had been unaware of his death as they deliberated.

Father: Irving Steinman (haberdasher)
Mother: Nettie Takefman Steinman
Brother: Seymour
Sister: Joni
Brother: Mark
Wife: Claudia Hoeffel
Son: Adam
Daughter: Alexis
Daughter: Lesley

    High School: Sherbrooke High School, Sherbrooke, Canada (1959)
    University: BS Biology, McGill University (1963)
    Medical School: MD, Harvard Medical School (1968)
    Scholar: Cellular Physiology and Immunology, Rockefeller University (1970-72)
    Teacher: Ass't Prof. of Immunology, Rockefeller University (1972-76)
    Teacher: Assoc. Prof. of Immunology, Rockefeller University (1976-88)
    Professor: Immunology, Rockefeller University (1988-95)
    Professor: Henry G. Kunkel Professor, Rockefeller University (1995-2011)
    Administrator: Director, Browne Center for Immunology and Immune Diseases, Rockefeller University (1998-2011)

    Gairdner Foundation International Award 2003
    Novartis (CIBA) Medal and Prize 2004
    Lasker Award 2007
    Heineken Prize for Medicine 2010
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 2011 (posthumous), with Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann
    Journal of Experimental Medicine Editor
    Human Immunology Advisory Editor
    Journal of Clinical Immunology Advisory Editor
    Journal of Immunological Methods Advisory Editor
    Journal of Clinical Immunology Advisory Editor
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Advisory Editor
    American Association of Immunologists
    American Society for Cell Biology
    American Society for Clinical Investigation
    Institute of Medicine (2002)
    Massachusetts General Hospital Internship and residency (1968-70)
    M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Scientific Advisory Board
    National Academy of Sciences (2001)
    New York Academy of Sciences
    Royal Society of Edinburgh Foreign Associate
    Canadian Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry
    Lithuanian Ancestry Maternal
    Risk Factors: Pancreatic Cancer

Author of books:
Human Immunology: Patient-Based Research (2005, biology)
Dendritic Cell Subsets (2010, biology)


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