Nobel Prize in Medicine Winner Died Days Before Being Honored

On Monday, the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to 68-year-old Ralph Steinman who died on Friday. The Associated Press reported, "The Nobel committee had been unaware of Canadian-born Ralph Steinman's death and it was unclear whether the prize would be rescinded because Nobel statutes don't allow posthumous awards." A spokesperson for the Nobel Prizes told the A.P., "I think you can safely say that this hasn't happened before." Shortly after the awards were announced, the news outlet added an update from Rockefeller University, where Steinman had been affiliated, which stated that he died from pancreatic cancer. "It is likely that Steinman died without being aware he had won science's ultimate accolade," Reuters noted. Still, as the University states, it was Steinman's honored work that kept him alive longer: "He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago, and his life was extended using a dendritic-cell based immunotherapy of his own design." Along with Steinman, American Bruce Beutler and French scientist Jules Hoffmann were to share this year's prize in medicine.

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