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Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov
Ilya Mechnikov nobel.jpg
Ilya Mechnikov, 1908
Born 16 May 1845
Died 16 July 1916
Alma mater University of Kharkoff
Awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1908)
Scientific career
Fields Zoology, immunology
Institutions Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov (16 May 1845 – 16 July 1916) was a Ukrainian-Russian zoologist of (partly) Jewish descent (his mother was Jewish). He won the 1908 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, with Paul Ehrlich, for finding out how immunity fights disease.

Mechnikov was a protozoologist who became better known for the discovery of macrophages in 1882. He discovered how they dealt with germs by phagocytosis. Macrophages are found in virtually all tissues, and patrol for potential pathogens by amoeboid movement.

He is also credited with coining the term gerontology in 1903, for the emerging study of ageing and longevity.

He was born in Kharkov (now Kharkiv), Russian Empire (now Ukraine)

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