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Nobel committee bends rules for posthumously-awarded prize

October 4, 2011

Ralph Steinman, an oncological researcher who made many advancements in his field, was recently awarded a Nobel Prize for his work. The only problem is that this honor was bestowed upon him three days after he died of cancer that he worked so hard to fight against. AllAfrica.com reports that an individual is only eligible to receive the honor posthumously if the award is announced before their death.

Even though the rules say it's not allowed, the Nobel committee will honor Steinman's award, since they were the ones who made the rule-breaking mistake, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Steinman, a Canadian scientist, dedicated his life to the study of the immune system and its role in cancer prevention and treatment. He even used his own research to treat his pancreatic cancer, which he had been battling for four years until his recent death.

"Here's a guy who single-handedly started a whole field and stuck with it after the rest of us would have given up to save our careers," Ira Mellman, the vice president of research oncology at Roche Holding AG's Genentech and a former colleague of Steinman's, told Bloomberg. "We all feel this is something that should have been done years ago, given the impact he had."

People can make calls to Canada to talk to their loved ones about Steinman's accomplishments and other Nobel Prize winners with an international calling card.

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