Immunology pioneer dies

Posted Jun 1, 2014 by Tim Sandle
Gerald Edelman, who broke new ground in two distinct fields of life science: immunology and neurology, has passed away at age 84.
Gerald Edelman in 2010
Gerald Edelman in 2010
Anders Långberg
Biologist Gerald Edelman, who shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1972 for his work on the immune system has died. Edelman's Nobel Prize-winning research concerned discovery of the structure of antibody molecules. Edelman discovered that antibodies were made of two peptide chains — one long and one short — instead of one long peptide chain, as was once thought.
In its Nobel Prize press release in 1972, the Karolinska Institutet lauded Edelman and Porter's work as a major breakthrough:
"The impact of Edelman's and Porter's discoveries is explained by the fact that they provided a clear picture of the structure and mode of action of a group of biologically particularly important substances. By this they laid a firm foundation for truly rational research, something that was previously largely lacking in immunology. Their discoveries represent clearly a break-through that immediately incited a fervent research activity the whole world over, in all fields of immunological science, yielding results of practical value for clinical diagnostics and therapy."
According to an obituary in The Scotsman, from the mid-1970s on, Edelman was largely concerned with the brain and the nature of consciousness.
Edelman reviews some of his life's work in the video below; the video was made in 2011: