On Monday, the Nobel Prize awards committee, in an official Press Release, announced the winners for the prize in Physiology or Medicine. American scientist Bruce A. Beutler, has been declared the winner of the 2011 Prize, along with Frenchman Jules A. Hoffmann, for their discoveries of receptor proteins that can activate innate immunity.

In addition to Beutler and Hoffman, the committee also recognized Ralph M. Steinman, for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

Hoffmann and Beutler will share half of the $1.5 million award, while the other half goes to Steinman.

“The discoveries of the three Nobel Laureates have revealed how the innate and adaptive phases of the immune response are activated and thereby provided novel insights into disease mechanisms,” said the statement released by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

“The discoveries of Hoffmann and Beutler triggered an explosion of research in innate immunity. Around a dozen different TLRs have now been identified in humans and mice,” the committee added.

The committee will announce its award for achievement in Physics on Oct. 4, followed by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Oct. 5 and for Economics on Oct.10.