Year of Honorary Fellowship, 2012
Dr. Hoffmann is a professor of integrative biology at the Strasbourg University Institute for Advanced Study. He is also emeritus research director of the French National Research Center, and he served as vice-president and president of the French National Academy of Sciences from 2006-2010.
Dr. Hoffmann was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for “discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity”. He and his colleagues used insects, namely the fruit fly Drosophila, to decipher the potent antimicrobial defenses. Over many years, these studies have led to a general understanding of recognition of infection by flies, the connections between recognition and signaling, and the subsequent control of expression of immune responsive genes, namely of those encoding antimicrobial peptides which oppose the invading microorganisms.
Hoffmann’s interest in insects began at an early age and was inspired by his father, a high-school biology teacher in Luxembourg who worked on the systematics of various insect groups during his spare time.