Research Timeline 1796-1998

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Jenner uses cowpox pustules to immunize against smallpox.

1885 Pasteur demonstrates the use of his attenuated virus rabies vaccine.
Iwanowski describes a filterable agent (later characterized as a "virus") that causes tobacco mosaic disease. 1892
1893 Polio outbreak in Boston.
Polio outbreak in Vermont. 1894
1898 Beijerinck describes a similar filterable agent.
Polio outbreak in New York. 1907
1908 Landsteiner identifies a virus as the cause of poliomyelitis.
Simon Flexner of the Rockefeller Institute confirms Landsteiner’s discovery of the polio virus and establishes it in a laboratory population of monkeys. 1909
1910 Polio outbreak in Mason City, Iowa.
Polio outbreak in Buffalo and Batavia, NY. 1912
1916 First large polio epidemic in the United States.
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Franklin D. Roosevelt contracts polio.

1929 Stock market crash; beginnings of the Great Depression.
Elford isolates virus particles with filters; major outbreak of polio in CT, especially severe in New Haven; led to the establishment of the Yale Polio Commission headed by Dr. Trask. 1931
1932 Franklin Roosevelt elected president; major polio outbreak in Philadelphia.
First President's Birthday Ball fundraising campaign for crippled children; major epidemic in Los Angeles; stimulates investigation by the Rockefeller Institute, the Yale Polio Commission and the United States Public Health Service. 1934
1935 kolmer vaccinating.jpg (353489 bytes)Brodie and Park and Kolmer et al conduct field trials for their polio vaccine, vaccinating nearly 20,000 children; nine children involved in the trials die, reportedly from polio and the media pay close attention; epidemic in Raleigh, NC.
Roosevelt creates the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. 1937
1938 dimecar_small.gif (4304 bytes)Comedian Eddie Cantor coins the phrase "March of Dimes"; to describe the Birthday Ball campaigns. March of Dimes awards its first research grant to Yale University's Poliomyelitis Unit.
Germany invades Poland. WWII begins in Europe; Citizens in Coshocton, Ohio, establish the first March of Dimes chapter. 1939
1941 Iron Lungs.jpg (543456 bytes)March of Dimes Foundation provides its first iron lung; U.S. enters WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Virus Research Center established at Johns Hopkins with National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis funds. 1942
1944 Studies begin to determine the number of types of polio virus.  Roosevelt reads the annual appeal from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.
Roosevelt dies. WWII ends. 1945
1946 Lederle begins live virus polio vaccine project with Cox and Koprowski; Paul indicates a relationship between a low standard of living and a high level of polio antibodies.
National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis sets up a committee to type polio virus. 1948
1949 salktube_small.jpg (3031 bytes)March of Dimes undertakes a project to determine the number of polio virus types needed for a vaccine. Salk heads a laboratory.
Cox and Koprowski swallow their attenuated polio virus ; Morgan and Howe raise polio antibody levels in monkeys through the injection of an inactivated virus preparation; March of Dimes establishes regional care facilities for polio patients; U.S. enters the Korean War. 1950
1951 Gamma globulin field trials; Koprowski tests his attenuated live virus on children.
Salk successfully tests inactivated polio virus preparations at a home for crippled children. 1952
1953 Salk publishes a report of this trial; large scale field trials for Salk vaccine planned; Korean war ends; Watson and Crick reveal their structure for DNA; Watson supported by National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.
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Field trials for Salk vaccine begin; 1,830,000 children eventually involved.

1955 Salk vaccine licensed; press conference on April 12 receives wide media attention; "Cutter incident"; raises fears about the safety of the Salk vaccine.
Sabin works on a live virus polio vaccine; Trials of Lederle vaccine begin in Belfast. 1956
1957 Sabin oral vaccine field trials begin in the USSR; Koprowski tests his oral vaccine in the Belgian Congo.
March of Dimes expands its research funding to encompass other childhood diseases; Cox tests Lederle oral vaccine in Columbia. 1958
1960 Lederle vaccine tested in Dade County, Florida, and in West Berlin.
Sabin vaccine licensed (through 1962). 1961
1967 Tom River's oral history, with recollections of the Brodie and Park, Kolmer, and Cutter incidents, is published.
The Rhinechem Corp. acquires all shares of Cutter Laboratories, Inc. 1973
Miles Laboratories absorb Cutter Laboratories 1983
198X Bayer takes over Miles-Cutter Laboratories.
Dr. Albert Sabin dies at the age of 87. 1993
1995 Dr. Jonas Salk dies at the age of 81.

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