Baruj Benacerraf

About Baruj Benacerraf

Who is it?: Immunologist
Birth Day: October 29, 1920
Birth Place: Caracas, Venezuela, Venezuelan
Died On: August 2, 2011(2011-08-02) (aged 90)\nJamaica Plain, Massachusetts, U.S.
Birth Sign: Scorpio
Citizenship: Venezuela/American
Alma mater: Columbia University Medical College of Virginia
Known for: Major histocompatibility complex
Spouse(s): Annette (Dreyfus) Benacerraf (1922–2011; m.1943–2011; her death) (one daughter, Beryl Rica Benacerraf, b. 1949)
Awards: National Medal of Science 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Fields: immunology, medicine
Institutions: New York University Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons National Institutes of Health American Academy of Arts and Sciences Harvard Medical School Dana–Farber Cancer Institute

Baruj Benacerraf Net Worth

Baruj Benacerraf was born on October 29, 1920 in Caracas, Venezuela, Venezuelan, is Immunologist. Baruj Benacerraf was a Venezuelan-born American immunologist who was one of the co-recipients of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His most significant contribution is the identification of gene groups called ‘major histocompatibility complexes’ and understanding their capacity to control immune responses. Though born into a family with a business background, he was interested in pursuing science and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Science from Columbia University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Virginia. He served in the US Army for a year after which he began his career as a researcher. As a researcher, he had the opportunity to work on various areas like structure of antibodies, tumor specific immunity, immunochemistry, immune complex diseases and so on. He worked in collaboration with renowned scientists like William Paul, Victor Nussenzweig, Gerald Edelman and Zoltan Ovary among many others. He was jointly awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with immunologist Jean Dausset and geneticist George D. Snell.
Baruj Benacerraf is a member of Scientists

💰 Net worth: Under Review

Some Baruj Benacerraf images

Awards and nominations:

He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1971.

Other notable awards include:



Benacerraf was born in Caracas, Venezuela on October 29, 1920, to Sephardic Jewish parents from Morocco and Algeria. His brother is the well-known Philosopher Paul Benacerraf. His father was a textile merchant. Benacerraf moved to Paris from Venezuela with his family in 1925. After going back to Venezuela, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1940. That same year, Benacerraf attended Lycée Français de New York, where he earned a Baccalauréat. In 1942 he earned his B.S. at Columbia University School of General Studies. He then went on to obtain his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the Medical College of Virginia, the only school to which he was accepted due to his Jewish background.


After his medical internship US Army Service (1945–48), and working at the military hospital of Nancy, he became a researcher at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1948–50). He performed research in Paris (1950–56), relocated to New York University (1956–68), moved to the National Institutes of Health (1968–70), then joined Harvard University medical school (1970–91) where he became the Fabyan Professor of comparative Pathology, concurrently serving the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston (1980). He began studies of allergies in 1948, and discovered the Ir (immune response) genes that govern transplant rejection (1960s). Counting different editions, he is an author of over 300 books and articles


He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1971.


His autobiography was published in 1998. Benacerraf died on August 2, 2011 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts of pneumonia. His wife, Annette, predeceased him that same year in June.


Baruj first start in the field of immunology was started the Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons with Elvin Kabat. He spent two years there working on experimental hypersensitivity mechanisms. He then moved to Paris because of family issues and accepted a position in Bernard Halpern’s laboratory at the Broussais Hospital. Here he also formed a close relationship with a young Italian scientist, Guido Biozzi. For six years he worked on the reticuloendothelial function in relation to immunity. The reticuloendothelia function is the white blood cells inside of a barrier tissue. While there they discovered techniques to study the clearance of particulate matter from the blood by the RES (reticuloendothelial system), and devised equations that govern this process in mammals. After six years Baruj returned to the United States because he could not make his own independent laboratory in France. In the U.S. he developed his own laboratory in New York City and returned to study on hypersensitivity. In New York, Baruj worked with several other immunologists on different fields of hypersensitivity. After working in his New York lab, Baruj started to turn his attention more to the train of new Scientists. Also in this time frame Baruj made the decision to devote himself to his laboratory practices, instead of the family Business. At this time Baruj also made the discovery that would go on to win him the Nobel Prize. He noticed that if antigens (something that causes a reaction with the immune system) were injected into animals with a similar heredity, two groups emerged: responders and non-responders. He then conducted further study and found that the dominant autosomal genes, termed the immune response genes, determined the response to certain antigens. This complex process would lead to the understanding of how these genes would determine immune responses.