October 29, 1920
|Died||August 2, 2011
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Alma mater||Columbia University
Medical College of Virginia
|Known for||major histocompatibility complex|
Benacerraf won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1979 for his "discovery of the major histocompatibility complex genes which encode cell surface protein molecules important for the immune system's distinction between self and non-self". He shared the prize with Jean Dausset and George Davis Snell.
Life[change | change source]
He was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He was born to Sephardic Jewish parents from Morocco and Algiers. Benacerraf's brother is Paul Benacerraf, a well-known philosopher. His father was a textile merchant. In 1925, he moved from Venezuela to Paris. In 1940, after he went back to Venezuela, he emigrated to the U.S.. He earned his B.S. at Columbia University School of General Studies in 1942. Benacerraf later went to the Medical College of Virginia where he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree.