Dr. Cesar Milstein

Date: 10 Dec 1984
Owner: Tres Puntos
Source Type: Images


Cesar Milstein (1927-2002), an Argentine Jew, won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1984 for his theories about specificity in the immune system and discovering methods for the unlimited production of monoclonal antibodies. He was born in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, and completed a degree in chemical science before moving to England to earn his Ph.D. from Cambridge in 1960. Although he took a position in Argentina, he soon returned to Cambridge because liberal scientists and intellectuals were being persecuted by the Argentine government.

He decided to change the primary focus of his research from enzymes to antibodies and, in 1975, Milstein and his colleague Georges Kohler developed the hybridoma technique for producing monoclonal antibodies. By fusing cells that produce antibodies with tumor cells, they created immortal cells that continuously generated identical daughter cells also capable of producing antibodies. Hybridoma makes it possible to produce virtually infinite quantities of monoclonal antibodies with predetermined traits that can be used to make several medications.

CITATION: Dr. Cesar Milstein. Portrait originally published in Tres Puntos.