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Sabin, Albert Bruce


SABIN, ALBERT BRUCE (1906–1993), U.S. virologist. Sabin was born in Bialystok, Poland, and emigrated to Paterson, New Jersey, with his family in 1921. He graduated in medicine from New York University and thereafter worked on polio viruses and other infectious agents at the Rockefeller Institute in 1935–39. He joined the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where he progressed to professor of research pediatrics and distinguished service professor (1939–69), a period interrupted by World War ii service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, where he studied viral infections such as dengue fever threatening U.S. troops. He developed a live "attenuated" polio virus, which did not cause disease but induced immunity to polio virus infections and was given orally. Its safety and efficacy were established in 1960 after European trials, and it was used extensively in the U.S. between 1962 and 1964, supplanting the *Salk intramuscular killed viral vaccine at least temporarily. The respective merits of the two vaccines caused great general and personal controversy. He also worked on the genetics of antiviral resistance and on a simple test for antibodies to the toxoplasma parasite. After 1969 his services were in great demand as a visiting professor and as a member of expert committees in the U.S. and abroad; he was president of the Weizmann Institute of Science (1970–72). He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1951) and the U.S.S.R. Academy of Medical Sciences, and received the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1970. His contributions were broadly humanitarian as well as scientific. He is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.

[Michael Denman (2nd ed.)]

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