Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Noel Rose Dies

Noel Rose, whose work helped identify some 80 autoimmune diseases, has died, the Washington Post reports. He was 92.

According to the Post, Rose began a series of experiments at the University of Buffalo in the 1950s that found, contrary to prevailing wisdom at the time set by Paul Ehrlich's notion of "horror autotoxicus," animals would produce antibodies against their own proteins. It adds that Rose's mentor Ernest Witebsky made him repeat the experiment numerous times and that the resulting paper was rejected during peer review because the reviewers did not believe it possible. The paper was published years later, the Post notes.

"At first, the immunologic world was suspicious of this whole business," Rose told Brigham Clinical & Research News in 2019. "To take one of the basic dogmas of immunology — horror autotoxicus — and turn it on its head, well . . . but eventually people bought into it."

Rose and Witebsky further found that human patients with Hashimoto's disease had antibodies similar to those they found in their experimental rabbits, indicating that a human disease could be caused by autoimmunity, the Post adds.