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Dr. Ralph M. Steinman (photo - Zach Veilleux, The Rockefeller University
About Us - Scientific Advisory Board - Tribute to Ralph M. Steinman, M.D.
Tribute to Ralph M. Steinman, M.D.

Remembering Dr. Ralph M. Steinman, Nobel Laureate and Longtime Trudeau Institute Trustee

On September 30, 2011, the Trudeau Institute lost one of its most valued advocates, Ralph M. Steinman, Ph.D., who died at the age of 68 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

A preeminent cell biologist, Dr. Steinman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on the human immune response. At the time of his death, he was the Henry G. Kunkel Professor and director of the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology at Rockefeller University and a senior physician at the Rockefeller University Hospital.

In 1973, along with his colleague, Dr. Zanvil A. Cohn, Dr. Steinman discovered a new class of cells, known as dendritic cells, which play a critical role in activating the body’s adaptive immune system. Dr. Steinman’s subsequent research led to a new understanding of how the cells function. In 2007, he received the Albert Lasker Award for Outstanding Basic Medical Research, often viewed as a precursor to the Nobel Prize.

Dr. Steinman was an enthusiastic and loyal advocate of the Trudeau Institute. A frequent visitor to Saranac Lake, he was a member of the Institute’s board of trustees for three decades, serving in a variety of capacities, including as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, a position he held at the time of his death.

Dr. Steinman had a profound influence on the Institute’s direction and success. His guidance and friendship are greatly missed. In 2012, the board of trustees established the Annual Ralph M. Steinman Lecture Series in his memory.

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