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Baruj Benacerraf facts for kids

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Baruj Benacerraf
Baruj Benacerraf 1969.jpg
Benacerraf in 1969
Born (1920-10-29)October 29, 1920
Died August 2, 2011(2011-08-02) (aged 90)
Nationality Venezuelan-American
Alma mater Columbia University
Medical College of Virginia
Known for major histocompatibility complex

Baruj Benacerraf (October 29, 1920 – August 2, 2011) was a Venezuelan-born American immunologist.

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.


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.

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