Max Theiler

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Theiler, Max

(mäks tīl`ər), 1899–1972, South African–American research physician, b. Pretoria, educated at the Univ. of Cape Town, St. Thomas's Hospital (London), and the London School of Tropical Medicine. Theiler's research on yellow fever, begun while he was connected with the department of tropical medicine of Harvard Medical School (1922–30), was continued at the Rockefeller Foundation, of which he became a staff member in 1930. He became known for his researches on yellow fever, encephalomyelitis, and other viruses associated with the tropics. For his development of a vaccine for yellow fever (1936) he was awarded the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Theiler, Max


Born Jan. 30, 1899, in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa; died Aug. 11, 1972, in New Haven, Conn. American physician and microbiologist.

Theiler studied medicine at the University of Cape Town in 1917 and 1918 and completed his studies in London in 1922. In 1951 he became director of the division of medicine and public health laboratories of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. Beginning in 1964 he was also a professor at the Yale Medical School. As a researcher he was concerned primarily with the causes of amoebic dysentery, leptospirosis, and Japanese encephalitis. In 1951, Theiler was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for his research on yellow fever virus and the development of two vaccines for human immunization against yellow fever.


“Studies on the Action of Yellow Fever Virus in Mice.” Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 1930, no. 24.
“Yellow Fever Protection Test in Mice by Intracerebral Injection.” Annals of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1933, no. 27.

Theiler, Max

(1899–1972) physician; born near Pretoria, South Africa. He emigrated to the United States in 1922. In 1927 he and two other medical researchers proved that yellow fever is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Between 1936 and 1940, he developed and tested a safe and effective vaccine against yellow fever. He was affiliated with Harvard Medical School (1922–30), the Rockefeller Institute (1930–64), and Yale Medical School (1964–67). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine (1951).
References in periodicals archive ?
En 1937, Max Theiler, medico sudafricano, puso a punto una vacuna eficaz contra la fiebre amarilla.
Over the years, Bob worked with many prominent arbovirologists and vector biologists, including, in his tenure at Yale, Tommy Aitken, John Anderson, Sonia Buckley, Jordi Casals, Delphine Clarke, Wilbur Downs, Max Theiler, Loring Whitman, Jack Woodall, Barry Beaty, Rebecca Rico-Hesse, Dennis Knudson, Barry Miller, Thomas Schwann, Thomas Scott, Mark Wilson, and others.