Thomas M. Rivers Papers 1887-1963

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Thomas M. Rivers Papers, 1887-1963

Thomas M. Rivers Papers 1887-1963

The bacteriologist and virologist Thomas Milton Rivers spent over thirty years at the Rockefeller Institute as a researcher in the Department of Bacteriology and from 1937-1955, as Director. Working on measles and pneumonia, Rivers discovered the parainfluenzae bacillus and cultivated vaccine virus for human use, and during the 1950s, he played an important role in coordinating research on poliomyelitis as head of the National Institute for Infantile Paralysis. During the Second World War, Rivers led the Naval Medical Research Unit in the South Pacific, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral. The Rivers Papers contains correspondence, laboratory notes, speeches, and photographs documenting Rivers' activities at the Rockefeller Institute, the development of polio vaccine, and Rivers' Navy experience in the Pacific during World War II.

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