Chicago Native Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine

Bruce Beutler won the prize for his work on a bacteria-recognizing protein

By Lacey McCraney
|  Monday, Oct 3, 2011  |  Updated 7:21 AM CDT
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A scientist with ties to Chicago is one of three winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine.

Bruce Beutler, along with French scientist Jules Hoffmann and Canadian-born Ralph Steinman, earned the award. Beutler and Hoffmann won for discovering proteins that can recognize bacteria and other microorganisms as they enter the body, Steinman for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

Beutler was born in Chicago, grew up in southern California and came back to the Windy City to study medicine at the University of Chicago. He now works at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

The trio will share a $1.5 million prize.

Monday's award kicks off a week of Nobel Prize announcements. The award for physics will be announced Tuesday, chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday, followed by the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The winners of the economics award will be announced Oct. 10.

The coveted prizes were established by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. The economics award was created by Sweden's central bank in 1968 in Nobel's memory.

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