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Jules A. Hoffmann

AKA Jules Alphonse Hoffmann

Born: 2-Aug-1941
Birthplace: Echternach, Luxembourg

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Biologist

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Innate immunity

In 1989, while studying the Northern Blowfly (Protophormia terraenovae), French biologist Jules A. Hoffmann discovered two previously-unknown immune peptides (compounds consisting of two or more amino acids linked in a chain), which triggered defensive reactions against certain bacteria. Prior to this discovery, these bacteria-killing peptides were thought to exist only in mammals. In 1996, Hoffmann and his team at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) discovered that receptor proteins can recognize certain bacteria and microorganisms, and through mutations in molecules in the Toll signaling pathway, activate what is called innate immunity, the immune system's first defensive response. With Bruce A. Beutler and Ralph M. Steinman, Hoffmann was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2011.

Wife: Danièle Hoffmann (biologist, two children b. 1970 and 1974)

    University: BS Biology & Chemistry, University of Strasbourg (1965)
    University: PhD Biology, University of Strasbourg (1969)
    Scholar: University of Marburg (1973-74)
    Professor: University of Strasbourg

    Balzan Prize 2007, with Bruce A. Beutler
    Keio Medical Science Prize 2010, with Shizuo Akira
    Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award 2010, with Ruslan Medzhitov
    Gairdner Foundation International Award 2011, with Akira
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 2011, with Beutler and Ralph M. Steinman
    Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine 2011, with Beutler and Medzhitov
    French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) Intern (1963)
    CNRS Research Assistant (1964-68)
    CNRS Research Associate (1968-74)
    CNRS Research Director (1974-2009)
    Academia Europaea 1993)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member (2003)
    European Molecular Biology Organization (1995)
    French Academy of Sciences (1992)
    French Academy of Sciences Vice President (2005-06)
    French Academy of Sciences President (200708)
    German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Foreign Member (1987)
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate (2008)
    National Institutes of Health Research (1998-2009)
    Russian Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate (2006)
    French Ancestry
    Luxembourg Ancestry
    Naturalized French Citizen

Author of books:
Phylogenetic Perspectives in Immunity: The Insect Host Defense (1993, biology)
Innate Immunity (2003, biology)
Primitive Immune Systems (2004, biology)

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