Rolf M. Zinkernagel, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland

Dr. Rolf M. Zinkernagel is professor emeritus in the Institute of Experimental Immunology at the University of Zurich.

Dr. Zinkernagel is renowned for his discovery of how the immune system recognizes virus-infected cells, showing that T cells can only recognize viral antigens if they are presented in the context of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of an infected cell. For this work, he was first awarded the 1987 William B. Coley Award, and then later the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. Dr. Zinkernagel has been a member of CRI’s Scientific Advisory Council since 1989.

…the Eureka moment…it was so unexpected, so serendipitous, that the most important thing we did was not to miss it! Had we not discovered it, somebody else would have surely done so sooner or later. Discoveries can occur anywhere.
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