Jerne, Niels K.

▪ Danish immunologist
in full  Niels Kaj Jerne  
born Dec. 23, 1911, London, Eng.
died Oct. 7, 1994, Castillon-du-Gard, France

      Danish immunologist (immunology) who shared the 1984 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with César Milstein (Milstein, César) and Georges Köhler (Köhler, Georges J.F.) for his theoretical contributions to the understanding of the immune system.

      Jerne was born of Danish parents and grew up in The Netherlands. After studying physics for two years at the University of Leiden, Netherlands, he worked at the Danish State Serum Institute from 1943 to 1956. He received his medical degree from the University of Copenhagen in 1951, and in 1956 he was appointed chief medical officer of the World Health Organization, a position he held until 1962. During the 1960s he taught at the Universities of Geneva (Switzerland) and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, U.S.), was professor of experimental therapy at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and was director of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, also in Frankfurt. He helped establish the Basel Institute for Immunology and served as its director from 1969 to 1980. After teaching for a year at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Jerne retired to Gard, France.

      Considered one of the greatest theoreticians of modern immunological thought, Jerne is noted for three major concepts that explain various aspects of how the immune system defends the body against disease. The first of Jerne's theories, proposed in 1955, dealt with how the body produces its vast array of antibodies (antibody) (proteins that bind with the antigens (antigen) of foreign substances to protect the body from infection). A commonly held belief at the time was that, when a foreign antigen entered the body, it stimulated the production of a specific antibody that could bind to it and eliminate it. Jerne postulated an alternative explanation, which stated that from early in its life the body has a full complement of antibodies, one of which can combine with and eliminate the antigen. This theory provided the basis for Frank Macfarlane Burnet (Burnet, Sir Macfarlane)'s clonal selection theory of 1957. Jerne's second theory, put forth in 1971, postulates that the body learns in the thymus to distinguish between its own components and those that are foreign. The third, and perhaps most famous, of Jerne's theories is the network theory, which he introduced in 1974. According to this concept, the immune system is a complex, self-regulating network that can turn itself on or off when necessary.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jerne, Niels — ► (1911 94) Científico británico. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1984, compartido con C. Milstein y G. Koehler, por sus trabajos acerca de los sistemas inmunológicos y la producción de anticuerpos …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jerne , Niels Kaj — (1911–1994) Danish immunologist London born Jerne was educated at the University of Copenhagen, where he gained his doctorate in medicine in 1951 while working as a researcher at the Danish State Serum Institute (1943–54). After a period of… …   Scientists

  • Jerne, Niels Kaj — ▪ 1995       British Danish immunologist (b. Dec. 23, 1911, London, England d. Oct. 7, 1994, Castillon du Gard, France), was a corecipient with César Milstein and Georges Köhler of the 1984 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his theories… …   Universalium

  • Jerne — Jerne, Niels …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Niels Kaj Jerne — Born December 23, 1911 Died …   Wikipedia

  • Niels K. Jerne — Niels Kaj Jerne (* 23. Dezember 1911 in London, England; † 7. Oktober 1994 in Castillon du Gard (bei Nîmes), Gard, Frankreich) war ein dänischer Immunologe. Leben und Wirken Von 1969 bis 1980 war Jerne Direktor des von dem Pharmakonzern Hoffmann… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jerne — Niels Kaj Jerne (* 23. Dezember 1911 in London, England; † 7. Oktober 1994 in Castillon du Gard (bei Nîmes), Gard, Frankreich) war ein dänischer Immunologe. Leben und Wirken Von 1969 bis 1980 war Jerne Direktor des von dem Pharmakonzern Hoffmann… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Niels Jerne — Niels Kaj Jerne Niels Kaj Jerne (23 décembre 1911 7 octobre 1994) était un immunologiste danois. Il a reçu le Prix Nobel de physiologie ou médecine en 1984 avec Georges Köhler et César Milstein. Lauréats du prix Nobel de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jerne — Niels Kaj …   Scientists

  • JERNE (N. K.) — Niels Kaj JERNE 1911 1994 Né à Londres en 1911 de parents danois originaires du Jutland, Niels Kaj Jerne, Prix Nobel de médecine en 1984, membre associé étranger de l’Académie des sciences, a été l’un des immunologistes les plus éminents de la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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