Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Jonas Salk

  • The wonderful world of vaccines

    Jayant RadhakrishnanChicago, Illinois, United States Epidemics and pandemics became an issue about 10,000 years ago when hunters and gatherers became farmers and began to live in communities. Smallpox was one of the first lethal infections that spread widely. Its stigmata are seen in Egyptian mummies dating to 1570-1085 BCE. By 1500 CE, in China, India,…

  • Doubled edged shield

    Adil Menon Cleveland, Ohio, United States Working my way through a biography of pioneering vaccine developer Maurice Hilleman titled Vaccinated, I was struck by how often the researchers of his era, such as Jonas Salk, tested their vaccines both on their own children as well as on children with cognitive challenges. If indeed the latter were…

  • A Cold War vaccine: Albert Sabin, Russia, and the oral polio vaccine

    James L. FranklinChicago, Illinois, United States In the midst of the 2020 Covid–19 pandemic, when international scientific cooperation seems to be the order of the day, it is heartening to recall that during the height of Cold War tensions between the USSR and the United States, collaboration between an American virologist and his Russian counterparts…

  • Salk and Sabin: The disease, the rivalry and the vaccine

    Kevin R. LoughlinBoston, MA, United States Jonas Salk was born in a tenement in the East Harlem section of New York City. Albert Sabin was born in Poland and as a child immigrated to the United States with his parents. From these humble beginnings, they would emerge as two of the preeminent scientists of their…