Jonas Salk

(redirected from Jonas E. Salk)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Salk, Jonas (Edward)

(1914–  ) immunologist; born in New York City. He began his pathbreaking studies on viruses and immunization by starting with the influenza virus while at the University of Michigan (1942–47). At the University of Pittsburgh (1947–63) he developed the first vaccination against poliomyelitis, a killed-virus vaccine, introduced to the public in 1953. (By 1961, and after some resistance, Albert Sabin's simpler and stronger live-virus oral vaccine had supplanted Salk's injectable vaccine in the United States; Salk's vaccine is now used only in a few countries around the world.) He is the founder/director (1963) of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, Calif., and is on the board of directors of the Immune Response Corporation, which is pursuing treatment for AIDS and other diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Among his writings are Man Unfolding (1972) and Anatomy of Reality: Merging of Intuition and Reason (1983). Widely honored, he holds the French Legion of Honor (1955) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977).