Monday, 15 April 2013

Hilary Koprowski dies: Pioneer proved polio and rabies vaccine viable

Hilary Koprowski dies: Pioneer proved polio and rabies vaccine viable, On April 14, Dr. Hilary Koprowski was reported dead at age 96. According to his site, this prominent Pennsylvania microbiologist created the live polio vaccine, predating Jonas Salt and Albert Sabin.

Indeed, in 1950, this scientist was first to illustrate the possibility to vaccinate against polio, up until then a crippling and even fatal disease.

That said, Yahoo! UK reported that Hilary Koprowski's son Christopher said his dad's particular vaccine "was the first to show clinical success. Salk famously developed an injectable version later, while Dr. Albert Sabin was the first to have an oral vaccine licensed in the US."

Christopher Koprowski said Hilary was proud of the "scientific recognition" he garnered without having to deal with the fame of his fellow scientists.

Koprowski was also behind the development of the rabies vaccine, and he was "the first researcher to advance the diagnostic and therapeutic use of monoclonal antibodies," also used as cancer therapy.

To say this learned man was a pioneer his whole life is an understatement. His site talks about Koprowski's most recent achievements:

"Since the 1990s, Dr. Koprowski started research on the use of plants to produce vaccines and sera. He and his associates were quite successful in producing a number of vaccines against human and animal diseases. He was motivated by producing safe and inexpensive products as compared to hitherto available products of animal tissue origin."

And so, as Dr. Hilary Koprowski dies, he leaves behind a grand legacy of medical firsts.

RIP, Hilary Koprowski, RIP.

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