The Salk Institute name is inscribed in the steps leading to the heart of the research institute in La Jolla. Jonas Salk, the eponymous founder of the institute, discovered and developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine.
The Salk Institute name is inscribed in the steps leading to the heart of the research institute in La Jolla. Jonas Salk, the eponymous founder of the institute, discovered and developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine. — Howard Lipin
Polio, one of the most feared infectious diseases in the 20th century, was sent on the road to extinction by Dr. Jonas Salk, whose 100th birthday took place Oct. 28.
Three men who knew him well — Dr. Peter Salk, a son; Dr. Charles Cochrane of The Scripps Research Institute, and Dr. Geoffrey Wahl of the Salk Institute — told an audience of hundreds about Salk’s life work, legacy, and challenge for the future Friday evening. The event was moderated by my science guru colleague, Gary Robbins, who wrote an extensive and beautiful tribute to the man.
Celebrating Jonas Salk’s ‘big life’
(On Thursday, Nov. 13, the Salk Institute will hold a symposium on viruses, vaccines and pandemics as part of its ongoing celebration of Salk’s centenary.
Polio is close to eradication. It now occurs in just three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. In March of this year, India was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization. No case of polio has been reported in India for three years. A decade ago, polio was also found in Niger, Egypt and India. The last case of polio was reported in the Americas, in Peru, in 1991.
Return of polio?
If polio isn’t eliminated everywhere, there’s always the chance that it could come back and spread, especially to populations that haven’t been vaccinated, Salk and Cochrane said at the event. That includes the United States, Cochrane said.
Below are some other video clips from the event, discussing various aspects of Salk’s life, challenges, the polio vaccine, and legacy.
Salk the Insomniac
Encounter with Albert Sabin
Effectiveness of Salk Vaccine
Polio Boulevard — Too Late
Dimes no longer enough
He would be pleased