Dr. Ralph M. Steinman is a local hero to many in the health care field thanks to winning the Albany Medical Center Prize in 2009, and it was announced today that he’s also received international acclaim by way of the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his contributions to the research and development of new treatments for pancreatic disease. The Albany Times Union reports on his contributions, where Dr. Ralph M. Steinman discovered dendritic cells, using his own pancreatic cells for research. Unfortunately, he passed away due to pancreatic cancer three days before the Nobel Prize for Medicine was announced, but his contributions to medical innovation will live on. The TU posted a great quote by local health care leader and Albany Medical Center president, James J. Harba.
James J. Barba, president of Albany Medical Center, served with Steinman on the Board of Trustees for the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake.
“This is an incredibly sad turn of events,” Barba said in a statement. “He was a man whose extraordinary modesty belied his remarkable intelligence.”
Steinman and Beutler’s discoveries gave the medical world insight into how the immune system senses and respond to infection that will lead to new and improved vaccines and innovative ways to fight disease, Barba said.