Sabin, Albert

Sabin, Albert (Bruce)

(1906–93) immunologist; born in Bialystok, Russia (now Poland). He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1920 and began to concentrate on biomedical research even in medical school. At Cincinnati Children's Hospital and the University of Cincinnati (1939–69), he developed the live-virus vaccine against poliomyletis as well as vaccines against dengue and sandfly fever. The first tests of his polio vaccine were conducted in 1957, outside the United States because American doctors were not convinced that the method was better than Jonas Salk's killed-virus vaccine; the American tests began in 1960, and in the years since, the Sabin vaccine has replaced the Salk vaccine throughout most of the world. At age 77 Sabin was paralyzed for three months by polyneuritis, thus interrupting his research in Mexico on an aerosol measles vaccine. He consulted to the National Institutes of Health on programs to vaccinate children in impoverished areas of the world (1984–86). Among his many awards are the 1971 National Medal of Science and the 1986 Medal of Freedom.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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