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Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2002 Jan;13(1):55-63.

Thomas Huckle Weller MD: Nobel Laureate and research pioneer in poliomyelitis, varicella-zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, rubella, and other infectious diseases.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77023, USA. bligon@bcm.tmc.edu

Abstract

In 1954, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Drs John Enders, Thomas Weller, and Frederick Robbins for their watershed discovery that growth of poliomyelitis virus occurred in cultures of cells of extraneural origin, first reported in 1949. Their demonstration in 1949 that the Lansing type II strain of poliomyelitis could be grown in cultures of human embryonic tissue set into motion a race to develop a vaccine for the disease that had crippled countless thousands of individuals. The discovery and subsequent recognition were only the beginning of a prolific career for Thomas Huckle Weller, who made numerous contributions to the field of virology, including isolating the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) from cases of chickenpox and zoster, providing suggestive evidence that the same virus is responsible for both diseases; isolating the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) for the first time in tissue culture and suggesting the descriptive name now used for it; establishing Coxsackie viruses as the cause of epidemic pleurodynia: and first isolating rubella virus, the cause of German measles. This article presents a brief biography of Dr Thomas Huckle Weller, one of the field's most important figures, with primary focuses on his work on poliomyelitis, varicella-zoster virus, rubella virus, and cytomegalovirus.

PMID:
12118846
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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