Hilleman, Maurice Ralph

Hilleman, Maurice Ralph,

1919–2005, American microbiologist, regarded as the father of modern vaccinology, b. Miles City, Mont., Ph.D Univ. of Chicago, 1941. He joined E. R. Squibb and Sons in 1944, moving to the Army Medical Center in 1948 and Merck in 1957; after he retired from Merck in 1984 he directed the Merck Institute for Vaccinology. During his career, Hilleman conducted basic and applied research in virology, bacteriology, immunology, molecular biology, epidemiology, and oncology. He developed an encephalitis vaccine (1945) that was important for U.S. Pacific forces in World War II and the Hong Kong flu vaccine (1957), and subsequently was involved in the development of vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis A and B, and other diseases. He also developed the first combination vaccine, for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). His work on vaccines has led many to credit him with having saved more lives than any other 20th-century scientist.

Bibliography

See biography by P. A. Offit (2007).