In announcing the award, the International Balzan Prize Foundation of Italy and Switzerland cited Beutler and Hoffmann "for their discovery of the genetic mechanisms responsible for innate immunity. They have worked in close cooperation to develop a new vision of the molecular defense strategy deployed by animals across a wide evolutionary spectrum against infectious agents. Their work has led to very promising medical applications."
At least half of the awrd monies must be used for further research projects.
Other 2007 Balzan Prizes were awarded in the areas of:
Nanoscience: Sumio Iijima (Japan), Meijo University, Nagoya;
International Law since 1945: Rosalyn Higgins (United Kingdom), President of the International Court of Justice, The Hague, the Netherlands;
European Literature (1000 -1500): Michel Zink (France), Collège de France, Paris;
Humanity, Peace and Brotherhood among Peoples: Karlheinz Böhm, founder of the humanitarian organization Menschen für Menschen (Humans for Humans).