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Canadian Ralph Steinman Wins Nobel Prize But Dies before It Is Announced

Ralph Steinman died on Friday, just days before it was announced he had been awarded a Nobel Prize for his work on the immune system.

Ralph Steinman died on Friday, just days before it was announced he had been awarded a Nobel Prize for his work on the immune system.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded on Monday to three scientists who have helped to discover how the immune system works. The three recipients are Bruce A. Beutler of Scripps Research Institute, of La Jolla, California, Jules A. Hoffmann, of the Institute for Molecular Cell Biology in Strasbourg, France, and Ralph M. Steinman of Rockefeller University in New York City.

However, Steinman died of pancreatic cancer just a few days ago, something that the scientists at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden who chose the winners on behalf of the Nobel Foundation did not know when they reached their decision. This caused some problems since the rules stipulate that the recipients must be alive.

After some research, the Nobel Foundation announced late on Monday afternoon that their decision is to allow the award to stand since the choice was made in good faith that all three recipients were alive.

Steinman, who was born in Canada and grew up in Quebec before becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States, was 68 when he died on Friday. His family are both sad at his passing, but so proud of what he has accomplished over the years.

He was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, and used his knowledge and research to extend his own life beyond the weeks or months that are more usually for this type of cancer. Steinman is credited with the discovery of the dendritic cells which the immune system uses to help rid the body of invasive micro-organisms.

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Eric is an unashamed techno-geek (with an odd love of the outdoors) and one of the few people who can start a conversation in a roomful of similarly inclined techies and end up being the focal point for a crowd ... he also has the benefit of being able to speak and write in ways that are understandable to normal humans.

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