Thomas Huckle Weller

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Weller, Thomas Huckle

Weller, Thomas Huckle, 1915–2008, American microbiologist and physician, b. Ann Arbor, Mich., B.A. Univ. of Michigan, 1936, M.D. Harvard, 1940. In 1936 he began teaching at Harvard, and as a specialist in tropical medicine he became professor in the school of public health in 1954. Together with J. F. Enders and F. C. Robbins he was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work in growing polio viruses in cultures of different tissues. He also isolated the chickenpox and shingles viruses and collaborated in the isolation of the rubella (German measles) virus. This work led to the development of vaccines for these diseases. From 1966 to 1981, he was director of Harvard's Center for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Weller, Thomas Huckle


Born June 15, 1915, in Ann Arbor, Mich. American physician and virologist. Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences (1964).

Weller graduated from the University of Michigan in 1936 and received an M.D. degree in 1940. He interned at the Harvard University Medical School from 1936 to 1939 and was connected with the Children’s Hospital in Boston from 1940 to 1941 and from 1945 to 1946. In 1947, Weller became a research fellow in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital and in the same year joined the Harvard School of Public Health, where he became a professor and director of the department of tropical medicine in 1954.

Weller’s main work deals with parasitology, tropical medicine, bacteriology, and the cultivation of cytomegaloviruses, coxsackieviruses, and the viruses causing chicken pox, herpes, and poliomyelitis. Together with J. Enders and F. Robbins, Weller established that the poliomyelitis virus is not neurotropic; they also developed a method of cell culture for the cultivation of viruses, which led to the rapid development of virology. Weller was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1954 jointly with Enders and Robbins.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.