Wolf Prize Laureate in Medicine 2015
Affiliation at the time of the award:
National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, USA
“for advancing the understanding of the molecular basis of the immune response”.
They have made major contributions to the understanding of the key antigen-specific molecules, the T cell receptor for antigen and antibodies, and how these molecules participate in immune recognition and effector function. Working together, Drs Kappler and Marrack were instrumental in documenting that the T cell receptor recognizes antigen differently from B cells, and succeeded in identifying the previously elusive T cell receptor by an ingenious use of monoclonal T cells and monoclonal antibodies. Dr Jeffrey Ravetch has studied the heterogeneous effector function of antibody molecules and has documented the importance of diverse receptors for the constant “Fc” part of antibody molecules. He cloned many of these receptors for the immunoglobulin Fc region, and showed their importance in mediating antibody function in normal and pathological states. Together this trio has contributed much to the understanding of the molecular basis of the immune response in health and disease.