Elected F.R.S. 1974
César Milstein was a scientist of the greatest distinction who made seminal contributions to our knowledge and understanding of antibodies. He advanced our knowledge of their structure, their expression, the generation of antibody diversity and the maturation of antibody affinity that occurs during the course of an immune response. Most spectacular was his discovery (jointly with Georges Köhler) of a method for obtaining monoclonal antibodies of predefined antigen specificity by fusing a continuously growing mouse myeloma cell line with a normal lymphocyte making monospecific antibody. For this, Milstein and Köhler received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1984. Although this discovery was the product of a purely academic project, its impact on medicine and technology as well as in fundamental research has been enormous, opening new avenues in diagnostics and therapy. César Milstein remained an enthusiastic, creative and passionate scientist throughout his life.