Have you ever spent a sleepless night worrying about you or your child becoming infected with Polio? The chances are pretty much 0%, and you have Dr. Frederick Robbins to thank for it. Robbins, along with colleagues John Enders and Thomas Weller, was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize for Medicine/Physiology for this lifesaving work which led to the development of the Polio vaccine, one of the greatest achievements of the modern era, and the most profoundly important discovery in the history of virology. Robbins, Enders, and Weller's breakthrough "discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue" paved the way for vaccines developed by Jonas Salk & Albert Sabin, saving countless children from lifetimes of pain and disability.
The American Polio epidemics of the first half of the twentieth-century panicked medical professionals, and struck fear into the heart of every parent. The paralyzing viral infection had the terrifying ability to strike young children and decimate their nervous systems, withering their muscles and twisting their limbs, and leaving them with lifelong disabilities. From the late 1930s through 1948, scores of virologists and other research physicians were working for a cure, many with disastrous results, including several fatalities. Finally, in 1948, a three-person lab affiliated with Boston Children's Hospital, The Research Division of Infectious Diseases, discovered how to grow poliomyelitis virus in human cell cultures, a finding that led to the development of the two most effective poliomyelitis vaccines, which, in turn, eliminated paralytic polio in all but a handful of countries in the world.
We are very excited to be offering Dr. Robbins’ Nobel medal, diploma, and other materials in our upcoming History of #Science & #Technology sale @Sothebys on December 12th. http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2017/history-of-science-technology-n09686.html
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