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Five members of the American Academy win 2011 Nobel Prizes in medicine, physics, and economics


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Five members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences have been awarded 2011 Nobel Prizes, joining more than 250 Academy members who have won the prize in previous years.

In Physiology or Medicine, Academy member Jules A. Hoffman, Distinguished Class Research Director at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Professor at the University of Strasbourg, shared one half of the Nobel Prize with Dr. Bruce A. Beutler, Chair of the Department of Genetics at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity. The other half of the prize was awarded to Dr. Ralph M. Steinman, Henry G. Kunkel Professor at The Rockefeller University and a senior physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital, for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

In Physics, Academy members Saul Perlmutter, Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Adam Riess, Professor of Astronomy and Physics at the Johns Hopkins University and Senior Member of the science staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute, were awarded the prize with Australian astrophysicist Brian P. Schmidt for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae.

In Economic Sciences, Academy members Thomas J. Sargent, Professor of Economics, New York University and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; and Christopher A. Sims, the Harold B. Helms Professor of Economics and Banking at Princeton University, won the prize for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies, and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to lead studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy, and education.


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