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Hilary Koprowski is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at Warsaw University. He also received degrees from the Warsaw Conservatory and the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music in Rome. He obtained his M.D. degree in Warsaw and adopted scientific research as his life's work.
Koprowski created the first vaccine against poliomyelitis (see polio vaccine) which was based on oral administration of attenuated polio virus. In researching a polio vaccine, he focused on live viruses that were attenuated (rendered non-virulent) instead of the killed viruses that became the basis for the injections created by Jonas Salk. Koprowski viewed the live vaccine as more powerful since it entered the intestinal tract directly and could provide lifelong immunity, whereas the Salk vaccine required boosters. Also, taking a vaccine by mouth is easy, whereas an injection is more expensive and needs medical facilities. It was taken by the first child on February 27 1950 and within 10 years was used for immunization on four continents.
Awards and Honors
Koprowski has received honorary degrees from numerous universities and he is the recipient of many honors, including: The Order of the Lion from the King of Belgium, the French Order of Merit for Research and Invention, a Fulbright Scholarship, an appointment as Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich. In 1989 he received both the San Marino Award for Medicine and the Nicolaus Copernicus Medal of The Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.
In 2006, Koprowski was awarded a record 50th grant from the NIH.
Koprowski has received many honors in Philadelphia, including the Philadelphia Cancer Research Award, the John Scott Award and in May of 1990 he was presented with the most prestigious honor of his home city, the Philadelphia Award.
Dr. Koprowski is a member of the National Academy of Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the New York Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, which in 1959 presented him with its Alvarenga Prize. He serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. He holds foreign membership in the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters. On march 22, 1995, Dr. Koprowski was awarded the title of "Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland" by the President of the Republic of Finland. On march 13 1997, Dr. Koprowski was awarded the Legion D'Honneur Award from the French Government. On September 29 1998, Koprowski was presented with the "Great Order of Merit" by the President of Poland, for his polio research. Just recently, on February 25 2000, Dr. Koprowski was honored with a reception at Thomas Jefferson University celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first feeding of the oral polio vaccine (by Dr. Koprowski). At this reception Dr. Koprowski received commendations from the United States Senate, the Pennsylvania Senate and Governor Ridge.
Dr. Koprowski is the author or co-author of over 875 articles in scientific publications and is co-editor of several journals. Currently, he is the President of the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories, Inc. and Head of the Center for Neurovirology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Refuted oral polio vaccine AIDS hypothesis
British journalist Edward Hooper publicised a hypothesis that AIDS was inadvertently caused in the late 1950s in the Belgian Congo by Koprowski's research into a polio vaccine. The OPV AIDS hypothesis has been widely rejected by the scientific community. The journal Science wrote of Hooper's claims, "...it can be stated with almost complete certainty that the large polio vaccine trial... was not the origin of AIDS." Koprowski also rejected the claim, and won a clarification and $1 in monetary damages in a defamation action against Rolling Stone, which had published an article making similar allegations. A concurrent defamation lawsuit that Koproswki brought against the Associated Press was settled several years later, but the terms were not publicly disclosed.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hilary_Koprowski". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|