Baruj Benacerraf, Venezuelan-born US immunologist (Caracas 29 October 1920 - Boston, Massachusetts 02 August 2011)
Son of Sephardic Jews that came from North Africa
His wife Annette Dreyfus was niece of Nobel Laureate Jacques Monod
Discovered genes that regulate immune responses and traced it to a region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in 1969
Studied the chemistry of suppressor T lymphocytes leading to understand the possibility to control autoimmune diseases
With B. Levine showed that immune response was due to the presence of a gene (Ir gene)
With G. Biozzi developed mathematical equations that describe the amount of foreign material that can be removed by phagocytes of liver and spleen
With Z. Ovary, K. Bloch & F. Kourilsky established unequivocally that different classes or subclasses of immunoglobulins mediated distinct functions
With A. Berken established the existence of receptors on phagocytic cells for the Fc portion of antibody
Developed a technique for assessment of the phagocytic activity of the macrophage system.
With G. Biozzi and B.N. Halpern. Quantitative study of the granulopectic activity of the reticulo-endothelial system. II. A study of the kinetics of the RES in relation to the dose of carbon injected; relationship between the weight of the organs and their activity. Brit.J.Exp.Pathol. 34:441-57, 1953.
Developed carbon clearance test
With G. Biozzi, C. Stiffel and B.N. Halpern. Etude quantitative de l’activité granulopexique du SRE chez la souris. C.R. Seances Soc. Biol. Fil. 148:431, 1954.
Medicine and Physiology Nobel Prize (1980)