Georges J. F. Köhler

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Georges Jean Franz Köhler
Georges J. F. Köhler.jpg
César Milstein and Georges Jean Franz Köhler
BornApril 17, 1946
DiedMarch 1, 1995(1995-03-01) (aged 48)
Known formonoclonal antibodies
AwardsNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1984
Scientific career
InstitutionsMax Planck Institute of Immunobiology
Doctoral advisorFritz Melchers

Georges Jean Franz Köhler (April 17, 1946 in Munich – March 1, 1995 in Freiburg im Breisgau) was a German biologist.

Together with César Milstein and Niels Kaj Jerne, Köhler won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1984, "for work on the immune system and the production of monoclonal antibodies". Milstein and Köhler's technique for producing monoclonal antibodies laid the foundation for the exploitation of antibodies for diagnostics, therapeutics and many other scientific applications.


In April 1974 Köhler started a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK where he began working with César Milstein to develop a laboratory tool that could help them investigate the mechanism that underlies the diversity of antibodies. It was during this work that they devised their hybridoma technique for the production of antibodies. Köhler continued his collaboration on the technique when he returned to Basel Institute of Immunology in April 1974.[1] Köhler remained at the Basel Institute for another nine years, during which time he continued investigating antibody diversity and in the early 1980s began working on the development of transgenic mice as a tool to understand the mechanism that underlies self-tolerance. In 1986 Köhler became director of the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology where he worked until his death in 1995.[2] [3]

Personal life[edit]

Kohler's father, Karl, was a German, while his mother, Raymonde, belonged to a French family. He married Claudia Reintjes in 1968. His first meeting with Claudia was held when he was doing university studies while Claudia was a physician's assistant. They had three children: Katharina, Lucia and Fabian. He not only worked hard for refining antibodies but also gave his time to his family. George moonlighted as a taxi driver to support his family. Most of the he spent with his children while driving small tractor on roads and enjoying roller-skating in streets [4]

See also[edit]

University of Freiburg Faculty of Biology


  1. ^ The Story of César Milstein and Monoclonal Antibodies.
  2. ^
  3. ^ K. Eichmann, Köhler's Invention (Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2005) University of Freiburg Faculty of Biology
  4. ^ "Professor Georges Kohler | Biographical summary". Retrieved 2019-11-12.

External links[edit]