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Albert Sabin

  Albert Bruce Sabin (August 26, 1906 - March 3, 1993) was a renowned American medical researcher of Jewish ancestry who is best-known for having developed the hugely successful oral vaccine for polio.

Born in 1906 in Białystok, Russia (now Poland), to Jewish parents, Jacob and Tillie Saperstein, he emigrated in 1921 to America with his family. In 1930, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States and changed his name to Sabin. Sabin received a medical degree from New York University in 1931. He trained in internal medicine, pathology and surgery at Bellevue Hospital in New York City from 1931-1933. In 1934 he conducted research at the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine in England, then joined the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University). During this time he developed an intense interest in research, especially in the area of infectious diseases. In 1939 he moved to Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. During World War II he was a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Medical Corps and helped develop vaccines against dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis. Maintaining his association with Children's Hospital, by 1946 he had also become the head of Pediatric Research at the University of Cincinnati.

With the menace of polio growing, he and other researchers, most notably Jonas Salk in Pittsburgh and Hilary Koprowski in New York and Philadelphia, sought a vaccine to prevent or to ameliorate this illness. Salk's so-called "killed" vaccine was tested and released for use in 1955 . It was effective in preventing most of the complications of polio, but did not prevent the initial, intestinal, infection from occurring. Sabin's "live" virus vaccine began international testing through the World Health Organization in 1957 when large groups of children in Russia, Holland, Mexico, Chile, Sweden and Japan received it. The United States Public Health Service endorsed his "live" virus vaccine for polio in 1961 . His product, prepared with cultures of attenuated polio viruses, could be taken orally, and prevented the actual contraction of the disease. It was this vaccine which effectively eliminated polio from the United States.


  • Election to the Polio Hall of Fame, which was dedicated in Warm Springs, Georgia on 2 January , 1958
  • National Medal of Science (1970)
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom (1986)
  • In 1999, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center named its then new education and conference center for Dr. Sabin.
  • In March, 2006 the US Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp carrying his image, in the Distinguished Americans series - USPS press release
  • He is pictured on an 87 cent US postage stamp

See also

NAME Sabin, Albert
SHORT DESCRIPTION Physician and epidemiologist
DATE OF BIRTH August 26, 1906
PLACE OF BIRTH Białystok, Russia
DATE OF DEATH March 3, 1993
PLACE OF DEATH Washington, D.C., USA
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Albert_Sabin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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