John F Enders

Also found in: Medical.

Enders, John F. (Franklin)

(1897–1985) virologist; born in West Hartford, Conn. He spent his career at Harvard (1929–67) and the Boston Children's Hospital (now Boston Children's Medical Center) (1947–80). He investigated bacterial infections and immunity (1930–37), then began research on viruses, improving the tissue culture techniques needed for their cultivation. After he founded the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital (1947), he, with students Thomas Weller and Frederick Robbins, grew mumps virus in continuous culture. In 1948, Enders, Weller, and Robbins cultivated poliovirus in human tissue cells; this breakthrough made possible the development of a polio vaccine, and won the three scientists the 1954 Nobel Prize in physiology. In 1962, Enders developed an effective measles vaccine. He remained active at Harvard until age 80, and spent his last four years studying the AIDS virus.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.