Brandeis, Louis D.
Lehman, Herbert H.
Levy, Uriah P.
Magnes, Judah L.
Santangel, Luis de
Seixas, Gershom M.
Singer, Isaac B.
Straus, Isidor & Ida
Torres, Luis de
by Hal Reed (1980), Jonas Salk, Polio vaccine developer
Jonas Salk (1914-1995)
Salk was born in New York City on October 28, 1914. After graduating
from the City College of New York, he went on to be a research
fellow at the University of Michigan. There he helped in the development
of an influenza vaccine and served as a member of the US Army
Influenza Commission. Moving to the University of Pittsburgh's
School of Medicine, Salk became Research Professor of Bacteriology
in 1949, Professor of Preventive Medicine 5 years later, and finally
Professor of Experimental Medicine (1957-1963).
At the University
of Pittsburgh, Salk did research into poliomyelitis, developing
immunological methods to distinguish different types of the virus.
He then developed a vaccine prepared by inactivating the virus.
Massive field trials conducted by the National Foundation for
Infantile Paralysis in 1954 confirmed the effectiveness of the
vaccine, which became the first weapon against the polio scourge.
In the years immediately before mass inoculations with the Salk
vaccine began, there was an average of 25,000 cases a year in
the United States; in 1969 not a single death from polio was reported
in the nation, and the disease has virtually been eradicated worldwide.
For his pioneering accomplishment, Dr. Salk received many honors
and awards, including the Presidential Citation and the Congressional
Medal for Distinguished Achievement.
as an expert on virus diseases for the World Health Organization
in 1961, and two years later founded the Salk Institute for Biological
Studies at La Jolla, California, which he directed until his death.
The Salk Institute is one of the world's major independent centers
of biological research, with an annual budget of over 12 million
dollars and a staff of over 400. It is an architectural masterpiece
by Louis Kahn. One of the great strengths of this "Athens of the
Pacific" is the enhanced insight that arises from the interdisciplinary
approach to problems and from the exchange of ideas of scientists
from all over the world.
Here to Take Jonas Salk Quiz
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