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

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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)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-. [Envelope] first day of issue, 1957 January 15, Washington, D.C. / Albert B. Sabin, Jonas Salk. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
creatorOf Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-. Interview with Albert B. Sabin [sound recording] / by Bob and Betty Lewis. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Horstmann, Dorothy M. (Dorothy Millicent), 1911-. Dorothy M. Horstmann papers, 1927-2001 (inclusive), 1946-1995 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Simon Flexner Papers, 1891-1946 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Thomas M. Rivers Papers, 1887-1963 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Colze, W. L. [Publications of the National Foundation]. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-. [Letter] 1978 May 24, Charleston, S.C. [to] L.A. Whitehill, San Angelo, Tex. / Albert B. Sabin. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
referencedIn Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-. Correspondence, 1984- / Albert Sabin. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
referencedIn Rivers, Thomas M. (Thomas Milton), 1888-1962. Papers, [ca. 1941-1963]. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn John Franklin Enders papers, 1916-1988 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-. [Letter] 1978 May 24, Charleston, S.C. [to] L.A. Whitehill, San Angelo, Tex. / Albert B. Sabin. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
creatorOf Records of the U.S. Information Agency. 1900 - 2003. Audio Recordings. 1942 - 1999. LIVE POLIO VACCINE
creatorOf Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-. Correspondence, 1984- / Albert Sabin. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
creatorOf 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
creatorOf Albert B. Sabin Papers (Addendum), 1930-1993 University of Cincinnati, Health Sciences Library, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions
referencedIn Smithburn, Kenneth C., 1904-1973. Kenneth C. Smithburn Papers, 1922-1974, 1938-1959 (bulk). Rockefeller Archive Center, Rockefeller University, Pocantico Hills
referencedIn Enders, John Franklin, 1897-1985. John Franklin Enders papers, 1916-1988 (inclusive), 1940-1984 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-. Albert B. Sabin Clinical Trial Proposal 1981 Medical University of South Carolina Libraries
referencedIn Papers, 1916-2003. Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
referencedIn Greene, Graham, 1904-1991. Graham Greene letters to Mercia Harrison, 1945-1990. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Salk, Jonas, 1914-1995. Papers, 1926-1991. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Flexner, Simon, 1863-1946. Papers, 1891-1946. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn The, Daily Worker, and, The Daily World, Photographs Collection, Bulk, 1930-1990, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Peter K. Olitsky papers, 1917-1964, 1917-1964 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Cincinnati History Day (1988). Cincinnati History Day papers, 1988. Cincinnati History Library, Cincinnati Museum Center
referencedIn University of Chicago. The Howard Taylor Ricketts award [realia] University of Cincinnati, Medical Center
creatorOf Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906-. [Envelope] first day of issue, 1957 January 15, Washington, D.C. / Albert B. Sabin, Jonas Salk. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
referencedIn Olitsky, Peter K. Papers, 1917-1964. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Records of the Agency for International Development. 1948 - 2003. Records Relating to the United Nations Conference on the Application of Science and Technology for the Benefit of the Less Developed Areas
referencedIn Jonas Salk Papers, 1926 - 1991 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Bayne-Jones, Stanhope, 1888-1970 person
associatedWith Chanock, Robert M. person
associatedWith Children's Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Cincinnati History Day (1988) corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Enders, John F. person
associatedWith Enders, John Franklin, 1897-1985. person
associatedWith Feldman, Harry A. person
associatedWith Finland, Maxwell person
associatedWith Flexner, Simon, 1863-1946. person
associatedWith Francis, Thomas, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Greene, Graham, 1904-1991. person
associatedWith Hammon, William McD. (William McDowell), 1904-1989 person
associatedWith Horstmann, Dorothy M. (Dorothy Millicent), 1911- person
associatedWith Howe, Howard A. (Howard Atkinson), 1901- person
associatedWith John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences corporateBody
associatedWith Koprowski, Hilary person
associatedWith Lewis, Betty Jessel. person
associatedWith Lewis, Robert Foster. person
associatedWith Maxwell, Dolores M. person
associatedWith Medical University of South Carolina corporateBody
associatedWith Mekhon Ṿaitsman le-mada&#699 corporateBody
associatedWith Melnick, Joseph L. person
associatedWith National Cancer Institute (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis corporateBody
associatedWith O'Connor, Basil, 1892-1972 person
associatedWith Olitsky, Peter K. person
associatedWith Paul, John R. (John Rodman), 1893-1971 person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Rivers, Thomas M. (Thomas Milton), 1888-1962. person
associatedWith Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research corporateBody
associatedWith Rotary International corporateBody
associatedWith Sabin, Albert B. (Albert Bruce), 1906- person
associatedWith Salk, Jonas, 1914-1995. person
associatedWith Schlesinger, R. Walter (Robert Walter), 1913-2003 person
associatedWith Smithburn, Kenneth C., 1904-1973. person
associatedWith University of Cincinnati. College of Medicine corporateBody
associatedWith Weizmann Institute of Science corporateBody
associatedWith Whitehill, Leo Allen. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
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
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1906-08-26

Death 1993-03-03

English

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