STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Bruce Beutler, Jules Hoffmann and Ralph Steinman won the 2011 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology for increasing understanding of the immune system, the prize-awarding institute said on Monday.
"This year's Nobel Laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its facilitation," Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in a statement.
Beutler of the United States and Hoffmann, from Luxembourg, shared one half of the prize of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.46 million) and Steinman, a Canadian, won the other half.
Medicine is traditionally the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year. Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel. ($1 = 6.868 Swedish Crowns)
(Reporting by Patrick Lannin and Anna Ringstrom)