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Born on this day
Gene Hackman
Eugene Allen "Gene" Hackman is a retired American actor and novelist.
5th week in year
30 January 2020

Important personalitiesBack

Max Theiler30.1.1899

Wikipedia (25 Mar 2013, 15:10)
Max Theiler (30 January 1899 – 11 August 1972) was a South African American virologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for developing a vaccine against yellow fever.

Career development

Theiler was born in Pretoria, then the capital of the South African Republic (now South Africa); his father Arnold Theiler was a veterinary bacteriologist from Switzerland. He attended Pretoria Boys High School, Rhodes University College, and then University of Cape Town Medical School, graduating in 1918. He left South Africa to study at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, King's College London, and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1922 he was awarded a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene and became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of London and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Theiler wanted to pursue a career in research, so in 1922 he took a position at the Harvard University School of Tropical Medicine. He spent several years investigating amoebic dysentery and trying to develop a vaccine from rat-bite fever. He became assistant to Andrew Sellards and started working on yellow fever. In 1926 they disproved Hideyo Noguchi's hypothesis that yellow fever was caused by the bacterium Leptospira icteroides, and in 1928 (the year after the disease was identified conclusively as a virus), they showed that the African and South American viruses are immunologically identical (after Adrian Stokes induced yellow fever in Rhesus monkeys from India). In the course of this research Theiler himself contracted yellow fever but survived and developed immunity.

In 1930 Theiler moved to the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, where he later became director of the Virus Laboratory. He was professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale University from 1964 to 1967.

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