Yale School of Medicine professor Ruslan Medzhitov was awarded the inaugural Else Kröner-Fresenius Award on Wednesday from the German organization Else KrönerFresenius Stiftung for his contributions to the field of immunobiology over the last two decades.

Medzhitov has helped uncover the mysteries of the immune system, most notably through his research on Toll-like receptors – protein structures that play a key role in helping to fight disease. Drug companies have since used Medzhitov’s work to develop treatments for conditions ranging from cancer to sepsis.

At €4 million, or roughly $5.2 million, the award is the largest of its type in all of science. The prize, which allocates €3.5 million for research and the remainder for Medzhitov’s discretionary spending, will be given out every four years.

This year, Medzhitov has won multiple prizes recognizing his contributions to immunobiology thus far in his career. In May, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health awarded Medzhitov the first annual Lurie Prize for investigators who have made “paradigm changing contributions to biomedical research.” A month before, Medzhitov shared a $10 million grant to support immunobiology research at Yale.

Medzhitov also won the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science, an award that recognizes contributions of foreign-born scientists.