Michael Sela (Hebrew: מיכאל סלע) (born 2 March 1924) is an Israeli immunologist of Polish Jewish origin. He is W. Garfield Weston Professor of Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.
Birth and academic career
Sela is known for his research in immunology, particularly for research on synthetic antigens, molecules that trigger the immune system to attack. These work of Sela have led to the discovery of the genetic control of the immune response, as well as to the design of vaccines based on synthetic molecules.
He was among the first who introduced the use of linear and branched synthetic polypeptides as antigens, and this brought about a better understanding of immunological phenomena.
For several decades, Sela have been interested in the possibility of fighting the autoimmune disease, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) with synthetic analogs of the molecules in the myelin sheath of the brain which are capable of provoking the disease.
Awards and honours
Sela has received several awards. Following are the major awards received by Sela.
- The Israel Prize in Life Sciences (1959)
- Germany's Otto Warburg Medal (1968) 
- The Rothschild Prize (1968)
- Germany's Emil von Behring Prize (1973)
- Canada's Gairdner Foundation International Award (1980)
- France's Institut de la Vie Prize (1984)
- Germany's Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit Award (1986)
- France's Officier de l'Ordre de la Légion d'honneur (1987)
- Member (Hon. causa) of The Romanian Academy (Academia Română), (1991).
- UNESCO's Albert Einstein Golden Medal (1995)
- Interbrew-Baillet Latour Health Prize of Belgium (1997)
- The Wolf Prize in Medicine (1998), along with Ruth Arnon, for "their major discoveries in the field of immunology".