Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1906-08-26
Death 1993-03-03
English

Biographical notes:

Dr. Albert Sabin, developer of the oral, live virus polio vaccine, began his career in biomedical research in 1926 while still a student at New York University where he received his M.D. degree. He worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research from 1935-1939. From 1939 through 1969, Dr. Sabin was successively Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Research Pediatrics, and Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and The Children's Hospital Research Foundation. A Lieutenant Colonel, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a member of the Epidemiological Board from February 1943 to September 1945. His work included studies on sandfly fever, and the development of vaccines against dengue fever and Japanese B encephalitis. From 1970, he served successively as President of the Weizmann Institute of Science (1970-72), full-time expert consultant of the U.S. National Cancer Institute (1974), Distinguished Research Professor of Biomedicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (1974-82), and Senior Expert Consultant at the Fogarty International Center for Advanced Studies in the Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (1984-86). In 1986 at the age of 80, Dr. Sabin retired from his full-time positions but continued part-time at the Fogarty International Center as a Senior Medical Science Advisor and a lecturer in the United States and abroad. In 1988 poor health and increasing physical disability forced Dr. Sabin into complete retirement. In 1960, after extensive, worldwide preliminary trials, Dr. Sabin's oral polio vaccine was first used in about 100 million children in Europe. While it was approved for use in the U.S. in late 1960, it was not until 1962-64 that about 100 million persons of all ages received the vaccine in the U.S. It is estimated that from 1965-66, worldwide use of the vaccine prevented about 5 million cases of paralytic polio and 500,000 deaths. In 1972, in an unprecedented humanitarian gesture, he donated the strains of the polio virus to World Health Organization to increase their availability to developing countries. Before going to Cincinnati in 1939, Dr. Sabin was noted for his work of fundamental studies on poliomyelitis and other viruses causing diseases of the nervous system, the protozoan parasite toxoplasma, and arthritis. During the 30 years in Cincinnati, his work on human poliomyelitis and the complex properties of the polio viruses had the greatest practical impact. He also worked on arthropod-borne viruses and the human diseases they cause, such as dengue, sandfly fever, and Japanese B Encephalitis. He also worked on the genetics of natural resistance to certain viruses and the discovery of the unique dye test for toxoplasma antibody that greatly elucidated the role of this parasite in human disease. Dr. Sabin served on many advisory committees on medical research, including those of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Armed Forces, World Health Organization, and Pan American Health Organization. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences (elected in 1951), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Association of the American Physicians, American Pediatric Society, and many other professional societies in the U.S. and abroad, including the U.S.S.R. Academy of Medical Sciences. Dr. Sabin received forty-six honorary degrees from U.S. and foreign universities. His numerous awards include the U.S. National Medal of Science (1970), Presidential Medal of Freedom (1986), Medal of Liberty (1986), Order of Friendship among Peoples awarded by the President of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. (1986), and from the President of Brasil, the Ordem Cruzeiro do Sul, Grande Oficial (1986) and Gran Cruz Ordem do Rio Branco (1991). When the National Medal of Science was presented to Dr. Sabin in 1970 by the President of the United States, the citation read, "For numerous fundamental contributions to the understanding of viruses and viral diseases, culminating in the development of the vaccine which has eliminated poliomyelitis as a major threat to human health." When the definitive history of the twentieth century is written, the achievements of medicine will occupy a significant place, and within that history Dr. Albert B. Sabin will occupy a preeminent position. Throughout the world he is one of the most recognizable and revered names in medical sciences. In the 1960s, Dr. John R. Paul, Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at Yale University, wrote about Albert Sabin in his history of poliomyelitis, "No man has ever contributed so much effective information and so continuously over so many years to so many aspects of poliomyelitis as Sabin." Dr. Sabin continued into his eighties to have a powerful and significant impact on the international scientific community in his capacity as medical statesman, consultant, and lecturer. His contributions were not just in the scientific realm but included a more global perspective of humanitarianism. He became a "courier of peace" and fought the diseases of ignorance and poverty by espousing the same strategies of mutual trust and international cooperation which led to the conquest of poliomyelitis. Dr. Sabin died in 1993, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

From the guide to the Albert B. Sabin Papers (Addendum), 1930-1993, (University of Cincinnati, Health Sciences Library, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions)

Dr. Albert Sabin, developer of the oral, live virus polio vaccine, began his career in biomedical research in 1926 while still a student at New York University where he received his M.D. degree. He worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research from 1935-1939. From 1939 through 1969, Dr. Sabin was successively Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Research Pediatrics, and Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and The Children's Hospital Research Foundation. A Lieutenant Colonel, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a member of the Epidemiological Board from February 1943 to September 1945. His work included studies on sandfly fever, and the development of vaccines against dengue fever and Japanese B encephalitis. From 1970, he served successively as President of the Weizmann Institute of Science (1970-72), full-time expert consultant of the U.S. National Cancer Institute (1974), Distinguished Research Professor of Biomedicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (1974-82), and Senior Expert Consultant at the Fogarty International Center for Advanced Studies in the Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (1984-86).

In 1986 at the age of 80, Dr. Sabin retired from his full-time positions but continued part-time at the Fogarty International Center as a Senior Medical Science Advisor and a lecturer in the United States and abroad. In 1988 poor health and increasing physical disability forced Dr. Sabin into complete retirement.

In 1960, after extensive, worldwide preliminary trials, Dr. Sabin's oral polio vaccine was first used in about 100 million children in Europe. While it was approved for use in the U.S. in late 1960, it was not until 1962-64 that about 100 million persons of all ages received the vaccine in the U.S. It is estimated that from 1965-66, worldwide use of the vaccine prevented about 5 million cases of paralytic polio and 500,000 deaths. In 1972, in an unprecedented humanitarian gesture, he donated the strains of the polio virus to World Health Organization to increase their availability to developing countries.

Before going to Cincinnati in 1939, Dr. Sabin was noted for his work of fundamental studies on poliomyelitis and other viruses causing diseases of the nervous system, the protozoan parasite toxoplasma, and arthritis. During the 30 years in Cincinnati, his work on human poliomyelitis and the complex properties of the polio viruses had the greatest practical impact. He also worked on arthropod-borne viruses and the human diseases they cause, such as dengue, sandfly fever, and Japanese B Encephalitis. He also worked on the genetics of natural resistance to certain viruses and the discovery of the unique dye test for toxoplasma antibody that greatly elucidated the role of this parasite in human disease.

Dr. Sabin served on many advisory committees on medical research, including those of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Armed Forces, World Health Organization, and Pan American Health Organization. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences (elected in 1951), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Association of the American Physicians, American Pediatric Society, and many other professional societies in the U.S. and abroad, including the U.S.S.R. Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Sabin received forty-six honorary degrees from U.S. and foreign universities. His numerous awards include the U.S. National Medal of Science (1970), Presidential Medal of Freedom (1986), Medal of Liberty (1986), Order of Friendship among Peoples awarded by the President of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. (1986), and from the President of Brasil, the Ordem Cruzeiro do Sul, Grande Oficial (1986) and Gran Cruz Ordem do Rio Branco (1991).

When the National Medal of Science was presented to Dr. Sabin in 1970 by the President of the United States, the citation read, "For numerous fundamental contributions to the understanding of viruses and viral diseases, culminating in the development of the vaccine which has eliminated poliomyelitis as a major threat to human health."

When the definitive history of the twentieth century is written, the achievements of medicine will occupy a significant place, and within that history Dr. Albert B. Sabin will occupy a preeminent position. Throughout the world he is one of the most recognizable and revered names in medical sciences. In the 1960s, Dr. John R. Paul, Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at Yale University, wrote about Albert Sabin in his history of poliomyelitis, "No man has ever contributed so much effective information and so continuously over so many years to so many aspects of poliomyelitis as Sabin."

Dr. Sabin continued into his eighties to have a powerful and significant impact on the international scientific community in his capacity as medical statesman, consultant, and lecturer. His contributions were not just in the scientific realm but included a more global perspective of humanitarianism. He became a "courier of peace" and fought the diseases of ignorance and poverty by espousing the same strategies of mutual trust and international cooperation which led to the conquest of poliomyelitis.

Dr. Sabin died in 1993, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

From the guide to the Albert B. Sabin Papers, 1930-1993, 1939-1969, (University of Cincinnati, Health Sciences Library, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions)

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jw8gdz
Ark ID:
w6jw8gdz
SNAC ID:
36296839

Subjects:

  • Phlebotomus Fever
  • Viral Vaccines--History
  • Poliovirus Vaccines--History
  • Tropical medicine--History
  • Military Medicine--History
  • Medical scientists--Interviews
  • Arthritis
  • Enterovirus
  • Measles
  • Public Health--History
  • Encephalitis, St. Louis
  • Measles Virus--Immunology
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated
  • Clinical trials
  • Postpoliomyelitis syndrome
  • Measles Vaccine--Immunology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Encephalitis, Japanese
  • Poliomyelitis--history
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral
  • Dengue
  • Vaccines--history
  • Virology--History
  • Poliomyelitis vaccine
  • Ethics, Medical--history
  • Toxoplasmosis

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

not available for this record