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Nelson Vaz

Nelson Monteiro Vaz, Brazilian immunologist and science philosopher (Niterói, Rio de Janeiro State 28 September 1936 –



Regarded as a world pioneer in tolerance induction

With Chang & B.B. Levine proposed the molecular structure of antigen-antibody complexes involved in mast cells degranuation (1970)

Advanced the study of oral tolerance for his original contributions to mucosae immunology (1970s)

With Bernard Levine devised a method of inducing prolonged intense IgE responses in mice (1970s)


Characterized the MHC-related autosomic dominant genes involved in recognition of immunogenicity

First to show the MHC involvement in the reactivity to heterologous proteins

With B.B. Levine. Immune responsiveness of mice to low doses of antigen. Relationship to histocompatibility (H-2) type. Science 168:852-6, 1970

With E.M. Vaz & B.B. Levine. Relationship H2 genotype and immune responsiveness to low doses of ovalbumin in the mouse. J. Immunol. 104:1572-8, 1970

With E.M. Vaz & B.B. Levine. Persistent formation of reagin in mine injected with low doses of ovalbumin. Immunol. 21:11-6, 1971 


Proposed the relationship between IgE synthesis and oligoclonal expansions of T cells (first in 1974; revised later)

With Maia, Hanson & Lynch showed that the tolerance induced orally is a carrier-specific T-cell effect (1977)

Studied the bystander suppression phenomenon (1981) 10 years before the term was coined

Obtained the first evidences which brain is influenced by allergic reactions and vice-versa (1990s)

With J.S. Menezes, M. Russo, A.M.C. Faria et al. showed that exposure to food proteins after weaning has a physiological role in the maturation of immune system both locally and systematically (2003)

With G.C. Ramos, C.M. Rodrigues, G.M. Azevedo et al. demonstrated that inhibitory effects of parenteral injection of tlerated antigens are much more general than suggested (2003)

With J.S. Menezes, M.C. Andrade, B. Senra et al. demonstrated the role of elemental diets in modulating immunological activities in mice (2006)

With H. Maturana & F. Varela reformulated the international scientific thinking in this field

Enunciated a theory about diseases based on operating mode of own organism

With I. Mota, W. Dias da Silva and O.G. Bier, published Imunologia Básica e Aplicada (Fundamentals of Immunology), translated into English and German (1973)