Jules Hoffmann is Professor at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS), Professor at the University of Strasbourg and senior researcher at CNRS who dedicated his work to the study of the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for innate immunity in insects. His work has provided new insights into the defense mechanisms that organisms, from the most primitive up to humans, employ against infectious agents. By demonstrating the marked conservation of innate defense mechanisms between insects and humans, the work initiated by Hoffmann and his collaborators has led to a re-evaluation of the role of innate immunity in mammals.
More generally, the Drosophila model has enabled biologists throughout the world to make considerable progress, not only in development genetics and innate immunity but also in the study of certain human pathologies and in the understanding of memory, behavior, sleep and nutrition phenomena.
In 2011, Jules Hoffmann was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, with Bruce A. Beutler and Ralph M. Steinman.
Hoffmann set up and headed the CNRS laboratory Endocrinology and Immunology of Insects within the CNRS Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire in Strasbourg, which he also directed from 1994 to 2006 and where he still works with his collaborators. He was President of the French Académie des Sciences in 2007 and 2008, and is a member of the Academies of Sciences of the United States of America, Germany and Russia. He has been awarded numerous prestigious prizes, such as, in recent years, the Robert Koch Prize (2004), the Balzan Prize (2007), the Rosenstiel Award for his work on immunity (2010), the Keio Medical Science Prize (2011), the 2011 Gairdner Award for medical research and the 2011 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine. He also received the CNRS Gold Medal. Hoffmann is Commandeur de l’ordre national du Mérite and Officier de la Légion d’Honneur in France. He is an Immortel at the Académie Française (2012). In 2015 he received the grand-croix dans l’Ordre de Mérite of Luxembourg.