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Born on this day
Jules A. Hoffmann
Jules A. Hoffmann is a Luxembourgish-born French biologist and a Nobel Prize winner.
31st week in year
2 August 2020

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Jules A. Hoffmann 2.8.1941

Wikipedia (22 Jul 2013, 08:08)

Jules A. Hoffmann (born 2 August 1941) is a Luxembourgish-born French biologist. He is a research director and member of the board of administrators of the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Strasbourg, France. In 2007, he became President of the French Academy of Sciences. Together with Bruce Beutler, Hoffmann received one-quarter of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity," although Lemaitre claims he did all the work alone. .

Hoffmann and Bruno Lemaitre discovered the function of the fruit fly Toll gene in innate immunity. Its mammalian homologs, the Toll-like receptors, were discovered by Beutler. Toll-like receptors identify constituents of other organisms like fungi and bacteria, and trigger an immune response, explaining e.g. how septic shock can be triggered by bacterial remains. The plant homologs were discovered by Pamela Ronald in 1995 (rice XA21) and Thomas Boller in 2000 (Arabidopsis FLS2).


Hoffmann received undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, France. In 1969, he completed his Ph.D. in biology also at the University of Strasbourg. His post-doctoral training was at the Institut für Physiologische Chemie at Philipps-Universität in Marburg an der Lahn, Germany in 1973–1974.


Hoffmann was a research assistant at CNRS from 1964 to 1968, and became a research associate in 1969. Since 1974 he has been a Research Director of CNRS. Between 1978 and 2005 he was Director of the CNRS research unit "Immune Response and Development in Insects", and from 1994 to 2005 he was director of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of CNRS in Strasbourg.

Hoffmann is a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the French Academy of Sciences, the Academia Europaea, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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