Goldblum, Natan

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GOLDBLUM, NATAN (1920–2001), Israeli virologist. Born in Poland, Goldblum immigrated to Palestine in 1938 as a student at the Hebrew University, where later he became professor of virology. His early work on malaria and West Nile fever was accompanied by his own efforts to eradicate these diseases in the Hulleh Valley in Galilee, Israel. With the establishment of the Israeli Defense Forces in 1948, he joined the medical corps and took part in the medical treatment of Yemenite immigrants. His activity was largely responsible for preventing the dangerous spread of malaria, among other diseases. He served in the beginning of the 1950s as head of the Department of Epidemiology of Hemed, the Military Research Institue, and subsequently became director of the Virus Laboratories of the Ministry of Health. He studied the preparation of polio vaccine with Jonas *Salk and Albert *Sabin in the United States and upon his return to Israel applied this knowledge to produce the vaccine with which some 60,000 Israeli children were inoculated. He joined the Hebrew University in 1960, where he was appointed professor of virology and head of the Department of Virology. He was vice president of the university in 1974–77. For over 30 years he continued research on polio. Among his other research subjects were Israeli snake venom, molecular identification of viruses transmitted by insects, and hoof-and-mouth disease. Goldblum joined the who consulting team on the eradication of viral diseases and traveled to African and other countries to help solve public health problems. In 1988 he was awarded the Israel Prize for life sciences, on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.

[Fern Lee Seckbach]