"Through work does one reach the stars!"
Baruj Benacerraf (1920– )
General Studies 1942
A distinguished pathologist, Baruj Benacerraf shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for cancer research that led to the discovery of genetic structures that regulate immunological responses. Born in Caracas and reared in Paris, Benacerraf left war-torn France for New York in 1940. After completing his medical studies, he served in the United States Army. Deciding to pursue a career in research upon his discharge in 1947, Benacerraf studied immunology in both France and the United States, working with many leaders in the field before accepting the chairmanship of Harvard Medical School's pathology department in 1970. Currently president emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Benacerraf is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science, and has received several major awards for his work in addition to the Nobel. He is also an art collector and an accomplished flutist.