At the Centennial Exhibition of the Nobel Prize, the Nobel Foundation called it one of the ten cradles of creativity (1). The journal likened its ideals to those of the French revolution—Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité—and called it a paradise (2) devoted to the science of immune systems: the Basel Institute for Immunology (BII). Founded by Roche in 1968, inaugurated in 1971, and closed in 2000, it was home to almost 450 scientific members, over 1,000 scientific visitors, and nearly 100 scientific advisors from more than 30 countries who worked in complete academic freedom and without commercial motives on over 3,500 projects, publishing more than 3,200 scientific papers, almost all of them on the structure and functions of immune systems of different species. This review contains a first collection of historical facts and dates that describe the background of the exceptionally successful performance and the strong scientific impact of the institute on the field of immunology.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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