Chicago native wins Nobel Prize in medicine

In this April 24, 2009 photo, Dr. Bruce Beutler of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., speaks during a news conference in Albany, N.Y., The Nobel committee says American Bruce Beutler and Luxembourg-born scientist Jules Hoffmann have shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in medicine with Canadian-born Ralph Steinman on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. Beutler and Hoffmann were cited "for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity." ( AP Photo/Mike Groll)

October 3, 2011 8:28:21 PM PDT
A Chicago native is among three researchers awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine.

Bruce Beutler was born in Chicago and is a graduate of the University of Chicago. He shares the honor with French scientist Jules Hoffman and the late Canadian cell biologist Ralph Steinman. They won for their discoveries about the immune system.

"It's very exciting news because it's a very fundamental discovery in immunology that impacts much of the work we do here at the University of Chicago," said Prof. Cathryn Nagler, UofC.

Steiman died of pancreatic cancer three days ago without knowing he would be honored for the research he used to prolong his own life. His family had not announced his death.

The Nobel committee considers only living scientists. The committee made the award believing Steinman was alive and will stand by it.