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Ralph Steinman, M.D.
Ralph M. Steinman, M.D., Henry G. Kunkel Professor at The Rockefeller University and a senior physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital, is a cell biologist whose research focuses on the immune system, including the human immune system in the setting of several diseases. Steinman and the late Zanvil A. Cohn discovered a previously unknown class of immune cells, which they called dendritic cells. Steinman's research points to dendritic cells as critical sentinels of the immune system, controlling many of its early responses from immune silencing (tolerance) to resistance (immunity). Steinman currently heads the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology at The Rockefeller University where he researches the interface of several disease states with the immune system. His research includes studies aimed at developing vaccines and immune-based therapies for tumors, infections and autoimmune diseases.

Steinman received a B.S. degree, with honors, from McGill University in 1963, and an M.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After completing an internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, he joined The Rockefeller University in 1970 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory Cellular Physiology and Immunology headed by Cohn and the late James G. Hirsch. He was appointed an assistant professor in 1972, associate professor in 1976, and professor in 1988. He was named Henry G. Kunkel Professor in 1995, and Director of the Chris Browne Center for Immunology and Immune Diseases in 1998.