Rolf M. Zinkernagel welcomes first 100 future doctors Humanitas University . Visiting professor of the University hospital tied Milan, it illustrates the research that led him to receive in 1996 the Nobel Prize for Medicine .


Photo by Aasemsj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( )], via Wikimedia Commons

The beginning of the academic year 2014/2015 lectures in Humanitas University , sees the presence of one of the visiting professor of the University of exception: the ‘ immunologist Swiss Rolf M. Zinkernagel , Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1996 . He is 29 October, together with the Rector Marco Montorsi and Alberto Mantovani , Professor and Vice-Chancellor at the University Research, to welcome the 100 first-year students of the Course of International Degree in Medicine and Surgery . With a special lecture on the search path that led him to receive the Nobel Prize, which could also assist students IMS, the International Degree in Medicine, University of Milan, attending for the past five years lessons in Humanitas.

Discerning of basic research, Rolf M. Zinkernagel is professor and director of the Institute of Experimental Immunology at the University of Zurich since 1992. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his studies on the immune response . In particular, for having discovered in the 70s the mode with which the immune system distinguishes itself (the so-called self) from the outside world (the non-self), or through the ” major histocompatibility complex ” (MHC, Major Histocompatibility Complex ). This discovery had a profound impact on both basic knowledge of the immune system, both on the potential clinical and therapeutic applications in different fields, ranging from diagnosis to genetic, auto-immune diseases to cell therapies against cancer.

As a visiting professor of Humanitas University, Zinkernagel in the coming days will hold lectures to aspiring doctors. “His presence – explains prof. Marco Montorsi, Rector – like that of Jules Hoffmann (Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2011), it is a tremendous opportunity for cultural and human growth for students in the Course of International Degree in Medicine and Surgery of the Humanitas University. the two Nobel prizes will be joined as a visiting professor, other colleagues from the most prestigious universities around the world, according to an exchange program with other countries that we are improving. “

Focus of Zinkernagel lessons to students of the first year will be the specificity of the immune system . Said prof. Alberto Mantovani: “The wide range of defense mechanisms put in place by the immune system can be divided into two categories: innate immunity and adaptive or specific immunity, the latter more sophisticated and able to trigger a specific response to certain pathogens ( for example against hepatitis B, and only that, if what we have been vaccinated). the Zinkernagel studies have identified the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) as the code within which specific immunity recognizes the outside world . MHC, in other words, constitute a sort of ‘identity card’ used by our defenses to recognize pathogens. “

The lessons start

The 2014/2015 is the first year of activity Humanitas University , non-state university dedicated to medical science closely linked to the identity of the hospital Humanitas in Milan.

The 100 students who have passed the admission to the first year of the International Degree Course tests in Medicine and Surgery from Italy but also from abroad (12% for this first year open, as determined by Ministerial decree, only students EU): United Kingdom, Greece, France, Switzerland, Gibraltar. They are joined by 40 students of the Degree Course in Nursing.

international faculty, innovative teaching methods, tight integration with the clinical activity, strong focus on scientific research and economic sustainability are the pillars of the formative proposal of Humanitas University, in line with the best experiences in the world.

The first two courses of the initial phase of activity will add, over time, a wider range of degree courses, postgraduate, doctoral, graduate schools and other opportunities to upgrade. A Humanitas University regime will accommodate more than 800 students.