Hoffmann, Jules Alphonse, 1941–, French biologist, Ph.D. Univ. of Strasbourg, 1969. Hoffmann was a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, Strasbourg, from 1974 to 2009. In 2011, he and Bruce Beutler shared half of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity; Ralph Steinman was also awarded the prize for his discovery of dendritic cells. Hoffmann found that a gene called Toll, which was known to be involved in development of the fruit-fly embryo, was also involved in sensing pathogenic microorganisms. His discovery helped pave the way for the development of new therapies to fight inflammatory and infectious diseases.
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