1959 – USA & UK

‘Antibody molecules are in the shape of the letter Y, with a stem and two angled branches. Each branch is composed of one light chain and one half of a heavy chain in side-by-side arrangement. The stem is made up of the remaining halves of the heavy chains’

Photo portraits of Gerald Edelman and Rodney Porter

Antibodies (Immunoglobulins) are specialised protein molecules produced by white blood cells. There are five classes of antibodies: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG and IgM. Each of the millions of antibodies in the blood is reactive against one particular antigen (foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses or toxins).

Diagram outlining ANTIBODY STRUCTURE


In 1959 Edelman and Porter separately and independently published their fundamental studies of the molecular structure of antibodies. Brought together, their studies complemented each other.

picture of the Nobel medal - link to

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