Virology

Virology: timeline of key events

Ivanovsky was a microbiologist who was one of the first scientists to discover viruses. He made the discovery based on a request to investigate a disease that was destroying tobacco crops in the Ukraine, which he carried out while a doctoral student. Initially he believed the destruction was due to mosaic disease, which was commonly linked to bacteria. He then noticed that sap filtered from the diseased plants could transfer the infection to healthy plants. With the microorganism proving invisible even under the highest magnification and able to permeate porcelain filters designed to trap bacteria, Ivanosky concluded the causal agent was an extremely tiny infectious agent. He first described his findings in an article in 1882 and then in a dissertation in 1902. 1864-11-09T00:00:00+0000d'Herelle was a microbiologist who co-discovered bacteriophages (phages), viruses that infect bacteria that are now major tools in biotechnology. He isolated the first phage from chicken faeces in 1919. Following this he successfully treated chicken affected by a plague of typhus with the phage and in August 1919 cured a patient with dysentery using the same method. This laid the basis for the development of phage therapy. 1873-04-25T00:00:00+0000A pathologist, Rous won the 1966 Nobel Prize for showing how viruses could cause cancer. He demonstrated this in 1910 by transplanting some material from a cancer tumour taken from a sick chicken into a healthy chicken. The healthy chicken developed cancer. Other scientists struggled to replicate his experiment in mammals so his discovery was initially dismissed. 1879-10-05T00:00:00+0000Goodpasture developed a method of culturing viruses in chicken embryos and fertilized chicken eggs. Before this viruses were grown in living tissues which could be contaminated by bacteria. Goodpasture's method laid the foundation for the development of vaccines for smallpox, yellow fever, typhus and chicken pox.1886-10-17T00:00:00+0000Rivers was a bacteriologist and virologist whose development of a tissue culture for the vaccinia virus, in 1931, paved the way to the development of a vaccine against yellow-fever. He also made important contributions to understanding the viral causes of influenza and chickenpox. Rivers served as the director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1937-56) and chaired the virus research committee of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) (1938-1955) which oversaw the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines against polio. 1888-09-03T00:00:00+0000Enders shared the 1954 Nobel Prize for helping to develop a technique to grow the poliomyeltitis virus in various types of tissue culture. This he achieved with colleagues Thomas Weller and Fredric Robbins in 1949. Their technique paved the way for Jonas Salk's development of a vaccine against polio. Enders is also renowned for having helped pioneer the first measles vaccine. 1897-02-10T00:00:00+0000Wyckoff was a major pioneer of x-ray crystallography of bacteria. He helped develop a high-speed centrifuge for segregating microscopic and submicroscopic material to determine the sizes and molecular weights of small particles. In addition he purified the virus that causes equine encephalomyelitis which laid the foundation for the development of a vaccine to combat an epidemic of the disease in horses. His work in this field enabled him to create a vaccine against epidemic typhus for use in World War II. 1897-08-09T00:00:00+0000Lwoff was a microbiologist. He shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis'. This was based on work he carried out in the early 1950s to understand lysogeny. This is the process by which some the genes of some viruses, bacteriophages (phage), get incorporated into the genetic material of a bacteria but remain latent until the formation of a new phage triggered by a particular event. He found that exposure to ultraviolet light was one factor that could spur on the development a new phage. Lwoff also discovered that vitamins help promote growth in microbes and can serve as co-enzymes. 1902-05-08T00:00:00+0000Stanley was a biochemist and virologist. In 1935 he managed to crystalise the tobacco virus, the causative agent of plant disease. This was a major breakthrough because prior to this no scientists had succeeded in finding out what viruses were. His work laid the foundation for other scientists, using x-ray diffraction, to work out the precise molecular structures and reproduction process of several viruses. During World War II he managed to purify several of the most common influenza viruses and developed a vaccine that was partly effective. In 1946 he shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the 'preparation of enzymes and virus proteins in a pure form.'1904-08-16T00:00:00+0000Gross is best known for having shown that viruses can cause cancer in mammals. He first demonstrated this in 1951 by injecting material from leukaemic mice into a strain of newborn mice known to be free of leukamia and isolating the virus. This virus he found could be passed on naturally to successive generations of mice to cause leukaemia. Gross subsequently found that radiation or a chemical could also activate a dormant virus in animals to cause leukaemia. Born to a prominent Jewish family, Gross was forced to flee to the United States following the Nazi invasion of his home country. 1904-09-11T00:00:00+0000A German biophysicist, Delbruck helped discover how viruses replicate their genetic structure, showing that bacterial resistance from viruses is due to random mutation and not the result of adaptive changes. This work showed that viruses reproduce in one step and not exponentially as happens in the case of cellular organisms. In 1969 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine on the back of this work. Blending biochemistry with genetics, Delbruck made substantial contributions to uncovering important aspects of genetics. 1906-09-04T00:00:00+0000Pirie was a virus physiologist and biochemist. He helped determine that the genetic component of viruses is RNA. Before this viruses were thought to be made up completely of proteins. During World War II he explored the possibility of extracting edible proteins from leaves, research that he carried on into the 1970s. His experiments were directed towards solving the food problem posed by the growing world population. He hoped to replace the inefficient method of feeding animals to secure protein for the diet.1907-07-01T00:00:00+0000Hershey was a bacteriologist and geneticist. He is best known for a series of experiments with bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) which helped to confirm that DNA, rather than proteins, carried genetic material. These he performed with Martha Chase in 1952. Hershey shared the 1969 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses.' 1908-12-04T00:00:00+0000Fraenkel-Conrat was a biochemist who discovered that RNA is pivotal to the genetic control of viral reproduction and that it is carried in the nucelic core of each virus. This indicated that the viral infectivity resides in the nucleic acid part of the virus. He made this finding in 1955 during experiments with the tobacco mosaic virus. By 1960 he had determined the complete sequence of the 159 amino acids in the virus. His work demonstrated that virus molecules that retain viral life can be reconstituted from its separate protein and RNA. 1910-07-29T00:00:00+0000Known now as the Rous sarcoma virus, the virus was first reported by Peyton Rous. He made the discovery that a virus could cause cancer after a farmer presented him with a hen with a large lump in her breast. He found that extracts from the tumour in the hend could cause cancer in Plymouth Rock chickens. Rous published his seminal finding in two articles: 'Transmission of a malignant new growth by means of a cell-free filtrate', JAMA, 56 (1911), 198 and 'A sarcoma of the fowl transmissible by an agent separable from the tumor cells', Journal Experimental Medicine, 13 (1911), 397-411. The 1911-01-01T00:00:00+0000Luria was a microbiologist who made his name in 1943 when he demonstrated, with Max Delbruck, that viruses undergo permanent changes in their hereditary material. The same year he and Delbruck showed phage-resistant bacteria resulted from spontaneous mutations rather than as a direct response to environmental changes. Their work helped explain how bacteria develop antibiotic resistance. Luria had landed up working with Delbruck in the US because he was banned from academic research fellowships in Italy under Mussolini's Italian fascist regime because of his Jewish background. In 1969 Luria was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for helping to discover the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses. 1912-08-13T00:00:00+0000Dulbecco was a virologist who in the 1950s helped to pioneer the growth of animal viruses in culture and work out how certain viruses cause tumours in the cells they infect. He and his colleagues demonstrated that the virus inserted DNA into the DNA of the host cell and this cell transformed into a cancer cell which reproduced the viral DNA along with its own thereby producing more cancer cell. This work not only aided better understanding of how viruses cause cancer, but also HIV. Dulbecco shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his 'discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell.'1914-02-22T00:00:00+0000A medical researcher and virologist, Salk pioneered the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Introduced in 1955, Salk's vaccine helped curb one of the most frightening public health diseases in the world. Over 1,800,000 school children took part in the trial to test his vaccine. His vaccine used killed virus rather than weakened forms of the strain of polio used by Sabin to develop another vaccine against the disease. Salk refused to patent his vaccine and made his technique as widely available as possible. His polio vaccine is now on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicine.1914-10-28T00:00:00+0000Weller was a physician and virologist whose development of tissue-culture methods, with John P. Enders and Frederick C. Robbins, in October 1949 opened up the means to study viral diseases. Their work paved the way to the development of the polio vaccine. The virus was grown in cultures of human foreskin and embryonic tissues. Weller shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1954 for the 'discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue.'1915-06-15T00:00:00+0000Robbins was a paediatrician and virologist who made his name in 1941 by helping to develop a tissue culture technique to grow the polio virus, one of the most feared diseases at the time. The method involved the growth of the virus using a mixture of human embryonic skin and muscle tissue. It provided an important step towards the development of a vaccine against polio. The tissue culture technique also helped scientists discover new respiratory viruses and paved the way to culturing the measles virus to make a vaccine against it. Robbins shared the 1954 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work.1916-08-25T00:00:00+0000Horwitz was a chemist who is best known for having synthesised the compound zidovudine (commonly called AZT). Originally Horwitz developed the compound to be an anti-cancer drug in 1964, but it failed to show anticancer activity. Other researchers discovered the drug could prolong the life of AIDS patients. Approved for AIDS in 1987 by the US FDA, AZT transformed AIDS from being a fatal condition into a chronic condition. Horwitz also developed didanosine and stauvidine, antiviral drugs that are used to treat HIV/AIDS.1919-01-16T00:00:00+0000Ivanovsky was a Russian microbiologist who was one of the first scientists to discover viruses. He made the discovery based on a request to investigate a disease that was destroying tobacco crops in the Ukraine, which he carried out while a doctoral student. Initially he believed the destruction was due to mosaic disease, which was commonly linked to bacteria. He then noticed that sap filtered from the diseased plants could transfer the infection to healthy plants. With the microorganism proving invisible even under the highest magnification and able to permeate porcelain filters designed to trap bacteria, Ivanosky concluded the causal agent was an extremely tiny infectious agent. He first described his findings in an article in 1882 and then in a dissertation in 1902. 1920-06-20T00:00:00+0000A chemist and biophysicist, Klug won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of crystallographic electron microscopy, a method that combines electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction to determine the three-dimensional structure of complex biological materials not amenable to conventional x-ray crystallography alone. The technique provided him with the tool to make many discoveries with his team into nucleic acid-protein complexes. He also made a number of discoveries concerning the structure of viruses. His interest in viruses began g after a chance encounter with Rosalind Franklin in late 1953 with whom he collaborated. Klug also discovered zinc-finger proteins, a class of proteins that bind specific DNA sequences. The modular nature of the proteins is now being harnessed to design synthetic proteins for targeted therapies. The son of Jewish parents, Klug migrated with his parents to South Africa where he stayed until he completed his master's degree and then went to England. He was the director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (1986-1996) and President of the Royal Society (1995-2000).1926-08-11T00:00:00+0000Griffin was a leading expert on viruses that cause cancer. She was the first woman appointed to Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital. In 1980 she completed the sequence of the poliovirus, the longest piece of eukaryotic DNA to be sequenced at that time. She devoted her life to understanding the Epstein-Barr virus, the cause of Burkitt's Lymphoma, a deadly form of cancer.1930-01-23T00:00:00+0000Temin was a geneticist and virologist who shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on the interactions between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell. In 1969 he demonstrated that certain tumour viruses carry the ability to reverse the flow of information from RNA back to DNA using the enzyme reverse transcriptase. The same enzyme is now is known to be linked to the widespread spread of viral diseases like AIDs and Hepatitis B. 1934-12-10T00:00:00+0000Bishop is an immunologist and microbiologist. He shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Harold E Varmus for discovering the first human oncogene, c-Src. Oncogenes are a type of gene that in certain circumstances, such as exposure to chemical carcinogens, can change a normal cell into a tumour cell. Bishop and Varmus made the discovery while working with the Rouse sarcoma virus known to cause cancer in chickens. 1936-02-22T00:00:00+0000Baltimore shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for his work on the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell. He also spearheaded efforts for the scientific governance of recombinant DNA and genome editing technologies. 1938-03-07T00:00:00+0000The breakthrough was made by Hubert Loring and Carlton Schwerdt. They managed to isolate the virus with 80% purity. The work paved the way for the team to create the first vaccine in August 1947. Schwerdt continued to improve the technique and by 1953 had managed to isolate 100% pure polio virus with Bachrach Howard, which paved the way for Jonas Salk to create a safe vaccine in 1955. 1947-01-10T00:00:00+0000Barré-Sinoussi is a virologist who shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008 for her contributions to identifying the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS. She carried out this work in the 1980s at the Pasteur Institute as part of her research into retroviruses. Barré-Sinoussi has been at the forefront of efforts to develop a vaccine against HIV and a cure for the disease. Serving as the president of the International AIDS Society between 2012 and 2016 and working with WHO, Barré-Sinoussi has collaborated closely with scientists from many resource-limited countries in Africa and Asia. 1947-07-30T00:00:00+0000The work was carried out by John Enders, Thomas Huckle Weller ad Frederick Chapman Robbins. They published their achievement in TH Weller, FC Robbins, JH Enders, 'Cultivation of poliomyelitis virus in cultures of human foreskin and embryonic tissues', Science, 109/2822 (1949), 85-7. The work paved the way for the two kinds of effective poliovirus vaccine, the inactivated poliovirus vaccine of Jonas E. Salk and the live oral polio vaccine of Albert B. Sabin. The three scientists received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1954. 1949-01-28T00:00:00+0000d'Herelle was a French Canadian microbiologist who co-discovered bacteriophages (phages), viruses that infect bacteria that are now major tools in biotechnology. He isolated the first phage from chicken faeces in 1919. Following this he successfully treated chicken affected by a plague of typhus with the phage and in August 1919 cured a patient with dysentery using the same method. This laid the basis for the development of phage therapy. 1949-02-22T00:00:00+0000Known as HeLa, the cell line was created by George Gey from cervical cells taken without consent from Henrietta Lacks who died from cervical cancer on 4 October 1951. The cells taken from Lacks were the first human cells grown in the laboratory that did not die after a few cell divisions. The cell line proved enormously beneficial for medical and biological research. It was first published in WF Scherer, JT Syverton, GO Gey, 'Studies on the propagation in vitro of poliomyelitis viruses. IV. Viral multiplication in a stable strain of human malignant epithelial cells (strain HeLa) derived from an epidermoid carcinoma of the cervix', Journal Experimental Medicine, 97/5 (1953), 695–710.1952-05-01T00:00:00+0000The first polio vaccine, developed by Jonas Salk, was tested on children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Nearly 2 million children in 44 states were tested. The trial showed the vaccine to be effective. The vaccine radically reduced the number of polio victims around the world.1954-02-23T00:00:00+0000The feat was achieved by Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat with the tobacco mosaic virus. He did this by stripping away the outer layer of one set of viruses with a common household detergent and then removed the cores of another set using another solution. Once this was done he coated leaves of tobacco plants with the virus extracts, making sure to keep them separate. None of the plants got infected. Frankel-Contrat then reformed the viruses by mixing the extracts, which proved sufficient to infect the plants. Fraenkel-Conrat's work settled a long-dispute about how genetic information controlled viral reproduction. He demonstrated that genetic information was carried in a particle of nucleic acid (RNA) at the core of each virus. Fraenkel-Conrat's research laid the foundation for scientists to study how viruses caused diseases like measles, mumps, chickenpox, flu and the common cold. His research was published in H Fraekel-Conrat, R C Williams, 'Reconstrution of active mosaic virus from its inactive protein and nucelic acid components', PNAS, 41/10 (1955), 690-98.1955-10-15T00:00:00+0000Goodpasture developed a method of culturing viruses in chicken embryos and fertilized chicken eggs. Before this viruses were grown in living tissues which could be contaminated by bacteria. Goodpasture's method laid the foundation for the development of vaccines for smallpox, yellow fever, typhus and chicken pox.1960-09-20T00:00:00+0000Created by Leonard Hayflick and Paul S Moorhead.1962-01-01T00:00:00+0000Rivers was a bacteriologist and virologist whose development of a tissue culture for the vaccinia virus, in 1931, paved the way to the development of a vaccine against yellow-fever. He also made important contributions to understanding the viral causes of influenza and chickenpox. Rivers served as the director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1937-56) and chaired the virus research committee of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) (1938-1955) which oversaw the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines against polio.1962-05-12T00:00:00+0000Developed by Samuel Katz and John F Enders, the vaccine would later be incorporated into the MMR, a combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.1963-01-01T00:00:00+0000The vaccine was made by Maurice Hilleman using material taken from his daughter, Jeryl Lynn, when she suffered measles. The Jeryl strain of the mumps vaccine is still in use today and used in the MMR vaccine.1963-01-01T00:00:00+0000The finding was based on 10 years of research conducted by Elizabeth Stern with 10,5000 women who used a family planning clinic in Los Angeles. E Stern, PM Neely, 'Carcinoma and Dysplasia of the Cervix: A comparison of rates for new and returning populations', Acta Cytol, 7 (1963), 357-61.1963-01-01T00:00:00+0000LJ Old, EA Boyse, E Oettgen, ED Harven, ED Geering, B Williamson, P Clifford, 'Precipitating antibody in human serum to an antigen present in cultured Burkitt's lymphoma cells', Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 56 (1966), 1699–1704.1966-12-01T00:00:00+0000The vaccine, RA27/3 had been developed by a team headed by Stanley Plotkin.1969-01-01T00:00:00+0000Reverse transcriptase is a restriction enzyme that cuts DNA molecules at specific sites. The enzyme was simultaneously discovered independently by Howard Temin and David Baltimore. Temin made the discovery while working on Rous sacoma virions and Baltimore was working on the poliovirus and vesicular stomatis virus. The discovery laid the foundations for the the disciplines of retrovirology and cancer biology and ability to produce recombinant DNA. The findings were published in D Baltimore, 'RNA-dependent DNA polymerase in virions of RNA tumour viruses' Nature, 226 (1970), 1209–11 and HM Temin, S Mizutani, 'RNA-dependent DNA polymerase in virions of Rous sarcoma virus', Nature, 226 (1970), 1211–13. 1970-07-27T00:00:00+0000Stanley was an American biochemist and virologist. In 1935 he managed to crystalise the tobacco virus, the causative agent of plant disease. This was a major breakthrough because prior to this no scientists had succeeded in finding out what viruses were. His work laid the foundation for other scientists, using x-ray diffraction, to work out the precise molecular structures and reproduction process of several viruses. During World War II he managed to purify several of the most common influenza viruses and developed a vaccine that was partly effective. In 1946 he shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the 'preparation of enzymes and virus proteins in a pure form.' 1971-06-15T00:00:00+0000An American pathologist, Rous won the 1966 Nobel Prize for showing how viruses could cause cancer. He demonstrated this in 1910 by transplanting some material from a cancer tumour taken from a sick chicken into a healthy chicken. The healthy chicken developed cancer. Other scientists struggled to replicate his experiment in mammals so his discovery was initially dismissed. 1972-02-16T00:00:00+0000The cloning, achieved by Beverly Griffin with Tomas Lindahl, was announced to a meeting at Cold Spring Harbor1979-01-01T00:00:00+0000The vaccine was developed by Stanley Plotkin, Hilary Koprowski and Tadeusz Wiktor at the Wistar Institute1980-01-01T00:00:00+0000A German biophysicist, Delbruck helped discover how viruses replicate their genetic structure, showing that bacterial resistance from viruses is due to random mutation and not the result of adaptive changes. This work showed that viruses reproduce in one step and not exponentially as happens in the case of cellular organisms. In 1969 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine on the back of this work. Blending biochemistry with genetics, Delbruck made substantial contributions to uncovering important aspects of genetics.1981-03-09T00:00:00+0000The work, led by Beverly Griffin, opened up the possibility of sequencing the virus. It was published in J R Arrand, L. Rymo, J E Walsh, E Bjorck, T Lindahl and B E Griffin, ‘Molecular cloning of the complete Epstein-Barr virus genome as a set of overlapping restriction endonuclease fragments’, Nucleic Acids Research, 9/13 (1981), 2999-2014.1981-07-10T00:00:00+0000The drug was originally synthesised by Howard Schaeffer and then worked on by Gertrude Elion and her team at the Wellcome Research Laboratories. Elion's group worked out the metabolism of the drug and how it coluld attack the herpes virus. Their work opened up further research on enzyme differences in normal and virus-infected cells that paved the way to the development of other antiviral drugs. 1982-03-29T00:00:00+0000Based on investigation of blood drawn from AIDS patients who developed Kaposi sarcoma, a cancer caused by a virus. The research was carried out by Susan Krown and Bijan Safai.1983-01-01T00:00:00+0000WHO, WHO Technical Report Series, No. 691 (Geneva: WHO, 1983).1983-01-01T00:00:00+0000M Durst, L Gissmann, H Ikenberg, H zur Hausen, 'A papillomavirus DNA from a cervical carcinoma and its prevalence in cancer biopsy samples from different geographic regions', Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 80 (1983), 3812-15.1983-06-01T00:00:00+0000An American microbiologist, Enders shared the 1954 Nobel Prize for helping to develop a technique to grow the poliomyeltitis virus in various types of tissue culture. This he achieved with colleagues Thomas Weller and Fredric Robbins in 1949. Their technique paved the way for Jonas Salk's development of a vaccine against polio. Enders is also renowned for having helped pioneer the first measles vaccine. 1985-09-08T00:00:00+0000The approval was given based on results from a clinical trial carried out by Harry Herr and Herbert Oettgen. The BCG vaccine stimulates an immune response that targets both the tuberculosis bacteria and bladder cancer cells. 1990-01-01T00:00:00+0000Luria was an IItalian microbiologist who made his name in 1943 when he demonstrated, with Max Delbruck, that viruses undergo permanent changes in their hereditary material. The same year he and Delbruck showed phage-resistant bacteria resulted from spontaneous mutations rather than as a direct response to environmental changes. Their work helped explain how bacteria develop antibiotic resistance. Luria had landed up working with Delbruck in the US because he was banned from academic research fellowships in Italy under Mussolini's Italian fascist regime because of his Jewish background. In 1969 Luria was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for helping to discover the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses.1991-02-06T00:00:00+0000Temin was an American geneticist and virologist who shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on the interactions between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell. In 1969 he demonstrated that certain tumour viruses carry the ability to reverse the flow of information from RNA back to DNA using the enzyme reverse transcriptase. The same enzyme is now is known to be linked to the widespread spread of viral diseases like AIDs and Hepatitis B.1994-02-09T00:00:00+0000Lwoff was a microbiologist. He shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis'. This was based on work he carried out in the early 1950s to understand lysogeny. This is the process by which some the genes of some viruses, bacteriophages (phage), get incorporated into the genetic material of a bacteria but remain latent until the formation of a new phage triggered by a particular event. He found that exposure to ultraviolet light was one factor that could spur on the development a new phage. Lwoff also discovered that vitamins help promote growth in microbes and can serve as co-enzymes. 1994-09-30T00:00:00+0000Wyckoff was a major pioneer of x-ray crystallography of bacteria. He helped develop a high-speed centrifuge for segregating microscopic and submicroscopic material to determine the sizes and molecular weights of small particles. In addition he purified the virus that causes equine encephalomyelitis which laid the foundation for the development of a vaccine to combat an epidemic of the disease in horses. His work in this field enabled him to create a vaccine against epidemic typhus for use in World War II.1994-11-03T00:00:00+0000Developed by William Wunner at the Wistar Institute1995-01-01T00:00:00+0000A medical researcher and virologist, Salk pioneered the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Introduced in 1955, Salk's vaccine helped curb one of the most frightening public health diseases in the world. Over 1,800,000 school children took part in the trial to test his vaccine. His vaccine used killed virus rather than weakened forms of the strain of polio used by Sabin to develop another vaccine against the disease. Salk refused to patent his vaccine and made his technique as widely available as possible. His polio vaccine is now on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicine. 1995-06-23T00:00:00+0000Pirie was a virus physiologist and biochemist. He helped determine that the genetic component of viruses is RNA. Before this viruses were thought to be made up completely of proteins. During World War II he explored the possibility of extracting edible proteins from leaves, research that he carried on into the 1970s. His experiments were directed towards solving the food problem posed by the growing world population. He hoped to replace the inefficient method of feeding animals to secure protein for the diet.1997-03-29T00:00:00+0000Hershey was an American bacteriologist and geneticist. He is best known for a series of experiments with bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) which helped to confirm that DNA rather than proteins carried genetic material. These he performed with Martha Chase in 1952. Hershey shared the 1969 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses.' 1997-05-22T00:00:00+0000Fraenkel-Conrat was a German-American biochemist who discovered that RNA is pivotal to the genetic control of viral reproduction and that it is carried in the nucelic core of each virus. This indicated that the viral infectivity resides in the nucleic acid part of the virus. He made this finding in 1955 during experiments with the tobacco mosaic virus. By 1960 he had determined the complete sequence of the 159 amino acids in the virus. His work demonstrated that virus molecules that retain viral life can be reconstituted from its separate protein and RNA.1999-04-10T00:00:00+0000Gross is best known for having shown that viruses can cause cancer in mammals. He first demonstrated this in 1951 by injecting material from leukaemic mice into a strain of newborn mice known to be free of leukamia and isolating the virus. This virus he found could be passed on naturally to successive generations of mice to cause leukaemia. Gross subsequently found that radiation or a chemical could also activate a dormant virus in animals to cause leukaemia. Born to a prominent Jewish family in Poland, Gross was forced to flee to the United States following the Nazi invasion of his home country.1999-07-19T00:00:00+0000The virologists Jeronimo Cello, Aniko Paul, and Eckard Wimmer of the State University of New York, Stony Brook reported constructing an almost perfect replica of the polio virus from published sequences of the virus, and its reverse transcription into viral RNA. Their work was first announced online in 'Chemical synthesis of poliovirus cDNA: Generation of infectious virus in the absence of natural template', Nature, (12 July 2002), doi:10.1038/news020708-17. 2002-07-12T00:00:00+0000Robbins was an American paediatrician and virologist who made his name in 1941 by helping to develop a tissue culture technique to grow the polio virus, one of the most feared diseases at the time. The method involved the growth of the virus using a mixture of human embryonic skin and muscle tissue. It provided an important step towards the development of a vaccine against polio. The tissue culture technique also helped scientists discover new respiratory viruses and paved the way to being able to culture the measles virus to make a vaccine against it. Robbins shared the 1954 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work. 2003-08-04T00:00:00+0000The vaccine RotaTeq took 25 years to develop. It was developed by Stanley Plotkin, H Fred Clark and Paul Offit.2006-01-01T00:00:00+0000Published in 'Nature Medicine', the system deloys glycoprotein D fused with genes from target antigens to increase the immune response. The work was led by Hildegund C.J. Ertl.2008-01-31T00:00:00+0000Weller was an American physician and virologist whose development of tissue-culture methods, with John P. Enders and Frederick C. Robbins, in October 1949 opened up the means to study viral diseases. Their work paved the way to the development of the polio vaccine. The virus was grown in cultures of human foreskin and embryonic tissues. Weller shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1954 for the 'discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue.'2008-08-23T00:00:00+0000Dulbecco was an Italian-American virologist who in the 1950s helped to pioneer the growth of animal viruses in culture and work out how certain viruses cause tumours in the cells they infect. He and his colleagues demonstrated that the virus inserted DNA into the DNA of the host cell and this cell transformed into a cancer cell which reproduced the viral DNA along with its own thereby producing more cancer cell. This work not only aided better understanding of how viruses cause cancer, but also HIV. Dulbecco shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his 'discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell.' 2012-02-19T00:00:00+0000Horwitz was an American chemist who is best known for having synthesised the compound zidovudine (commonly called AZT). Originally Horwitz developed the compound to be an anti-cancer drug in 1964, but it failed to show anticancer activity. Other researchers discovered the drug could prolong the life of AIDS patients. Approved for AIDS in 1987 by the US FDA, AZT transformed AIDS from being a fatal condition into a chronic condition. Horwitz also developed didanosine and stauvidine, antiviral drugs that are used to treat HIV/AIDS.2012-09-06T00:00:00+0000Griffin was a leading expert on viruses that cause cancer. She was the first woman appointed to Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital. In 1980 she completed the sequence of the poliovirus, the longest piece of eukaryotic DNA to be sequenced at that time. She devoted her life to understanding the Epstein-Barr virus, the cause of Burkitt's Lymphoma, a deadly form of cancer. 2016-06-13T00:00:00+0000Vaccine developed by David Weiner together with collaborators at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., GeneOne Life Science, Inc., National Microbiology Laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the University of Pennsylvania.2016-06-23T00:00:00+0000Born in Lithuania, Klug was a chemist and biophysicist who won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of crystallographic electron microscopy, a method that combines electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction to determine the three-dimensional structure of complex biological materials not amenable to conventional x-ray crystallography alone. The technique provided him with the tool to make many discoveries with his team into nucleic acid-protein complexes. He also made a number of discoveries concerning the structure of viruses. His interest in viruses began g after a chance encounter with Rosalind Franklin in late 1953 with whom he collaborated. Klug also discovered zinc-finger proteins, a class of proteins that bind specific DNA sequences. The modular nature of the proteins is now being harnessed to design synthetic proteins for targeted therapies. The son of Jewish parents, Klug migrated with his parents to South Africa where he stayed until he completed his master's degree and then went to England. He was the director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (1986-1996) and President of the Royal Society (1995-2000).2018-11-20T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places
9 Nov 1864Dmitry Iosifovich Ivanovsky was born in Gdov, RussiaIvanovskyUniversity of St Petersburg
25 Apr 1873Felix d'Herelle was born in Montreal, Canadad'HerellePasteur Institute
5 Oct 1879Francis Peyton Rous was born in Baltimore MD, USARousRockefeller University
17 Oct 1886Ernest Goodpasture was born Clarksville, TN, USAGoodpastureHarvard University
3 Sep 1888Thomas M Rivers was born in Jonesboro, Georgia, USARiversRockefeller Institute
10 Feb 1897John F Enders was born West Hartford, CT, USAEndersChildren's Hospital Boston
9 Aug 1897Ralph W G Wyckoff was born in Geneva, NY, USAWyckoffRockefeller University, University of Michigan, University of Arizona
8 May 1902Andre Lwoff was born in Ainay-le-Chateau, FranceLwoffPasteur Institute
16 Aug 1904Wendell M Stanley was born in Ridgeville IN, USAStanleyRockefeller Institute
11 Sep 1904Ludwig Gross born in Krakow, PolandGrossBronx Veterans Administration Medical Centre
4 Sep 1906Max Delbruck was born in Berlin, GermanyDelbruckCalifornia Institute of Technology
1 Jul 1907Norman Wingate (Bill) Pirie was born in Eastbourne, UKPirie Rothamsted Experimental Station
4 Dec 1908Alfred D Hershey was born in Owosso, MI, USAHersheyCarnegie Institution of Washington
29 Jul 1910Heinz Ludwig Fraenkel-Conrat was born in Breslau, German Empire (now Wroclaw, Poland)Fraenkel-Conrat University of California Berkeley
1911First cancer-causing virus discoveredRousRockefeller University
13 Aug 1912Salvador E Luria was born in Torino, ItalyLuriaMassachusetts Institute of Technology
22 Feb 1914Renato Dulbecco was born in Catanzaro, ItalyDulbeccoImperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratory
28 Oct 1914Jonas Salk was born in New York City, USASalkUniversity of Pittsburgh
15 Jun 1915Thomas H Weller was born in Ann Arbor MI, USAWellerChildren's Medical Center Boston, Harvard University
25 Aug 1916Frederick Chapman Robbins was born in Auburn AL, USARobbinsWestern Reserve University
16 Jan 1919Jerome P Horwitz was bornHorwitzKarmanos Institute
20 Jun 1920Dmitry I Ivanovsky diedIvanovskyUniversity of St Petersburg
11 Aug 1926Aaron Klug was born in Zelvas, LithuaniaKlugLaboratory of Molecular Biology
23 Jan 1930Beverly Griffin was born in Delhi, Louisiana, USAGriffinImperial College
10 Dec 1934Howard M Temin was born in Philadelphia, PA, USATeminUniversity of Wisconsin
22 Feb 1936John Michael Bishop born in York, PA, USABishopUniversity California San Francisco
7 Mar 1938David Baltimore was born in New York CityBaltimoreNew York City
10 Jan 1947First time polio virus was isolatedLoring, SchwerdtStanford University
30 Jul 1947Francoise Barré-Sinoussi born in Paris, FranceBarre-SinoussiPasteur Institute
28 Jan 1949Polio virus successfully grown on human embryonic cells in cultureEnders, Weller, RobbinsBoston Children's Hospital
22 Feb 1949Felix d'Herelle diedd'HerellePasteur Institute
1 May 1952First immortal human cell line developedLacks, Gey, Scherer, SyvertonUniversity of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins University
23 Feb 1954Salk polio vaccine trial beganSalkUniversity of Pittsburgh
15 Oct 1955Virus dismantled and put back together to reconstitute a live virusFraenkel-ConratUniversity of California Berkley
20 Sep 1960Ernest Goodpasture diedGoodpastureHarvard University
1962WI-38 cell line developed - important to development of vaccinesHayflick, MoorheadWistar Institute
12 May 1962Thomas M Rivers diedRiversRockefeller Institute
1963 - 1963Development of first attentuated measles virus vaccineEnders, Katz 
1963Creation of first vaccine against mumpsHillemanMerck & Co
1963First report linking a specific virus (herpes simplex virus) to a specific cancer (cervical cancer)SternUniversity of California, Los Angeles
December 1966Scientists detect antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus in patients with nasopharyngeal cancer which suggest the cancer is caused by a virus. Old, Boyse, OettgenMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
1969 - 1970First license approved in US and Europe for vaccine against rubella (German measles)PlotkinWistar Institute
27 Jul 1970Reverse transcriptase first isolatedBaltimore, Temin, MizutaniMassachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin
15 Jun 1971Wendell M Stanley diedStanleyRockefeller Institute
16 Feb 1972Francis Peyton Rous diedRousRockefeller University
1979First DNA fragments of Epstein Barr Virus cloned Griffin, LindahlImperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, University of Gothenberg
1980US licensed first rabies vaccine for human useKoprowski, Plotkin, WiktorWistar Institute
9 Mar 1981Max Delbruck diedDelbruckCalifornia Institute of Technology
10 Jul 1981Complete library of overlapping DNA fragments of Epstein Barr Virus clonedGriffin, Arrand, Walsh, Bjorck, RymoImperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, University of Gothenberg
29 Mar 1982FDA approved acyclovir, the first successful antiviral drug, for treating the herpes virusElion, HowardWellcome Research Laboratories
1983Link drawn between immune deficiency and cancer Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
1983WHO argued hepatitis B virus second only to tobacco as cause of cancer 
June 1983Harald Zur Hausen identifies the human papillomavirus as the causative agent of cervical cancerzur HausenUniversity of Freiberg
8 Sep 1985John F Enders diedEndersChildren's Hospital Boston
1990US FDA approved BCG, a bacterial vaccine against tuberculosis, to treat early stage bladder cancer. It was the first FDA approved immunotherapyHerr, OettgenMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
6 Feb 1991Salvador E Luria diedLuriaMassachusetts Institute of Technology
9 Feb 1994Howard M Temin diedTeminUniversity of Wisconsin
30 Sep 1994Andre Michel Lwoff diedLwoffPasteur Institute
3 Nov 1994Ralph W G Wyckoff diedWyckoffUniversity of Michigan, University of Arizona
1995US licensed first wildlife rabies vaccineWistar Institute
23 Jun 1995Jonas Salk diedSalkUniversity of Pittsburgh
29 Mar 1997Norman Wingate (Bill) Pirie diedPirieRothamsted Experimental Station
22 May 1997Alfred D Hershey diedHersheyCarnegie Institution of Washington
10 Apr 1999Heinz Ludwig Fraenkel-Conrat diedFraenkel-Conrat University of California Berkeley
19 Jul 1999Ludwik Gross diedGrossBronx Veterans Administration Medical Centre
12 Jul 2002Polio: First ever virus synthesised from chemicals aloneCello, Paul, WimmerStony Brook University
4 Aug 2003Frederick Chapman Robbins diedRobbinsWestern Reserve University
2006Vaccine approved for preventing rotavirus, a major kiler of children Plotkin, Clark, OffitWistar Institute
31 Jan 2008New vaccine delivery system unveiled for preventing viral diseasesErtlWistar Institute
23 Aug 2008Thomas H Weller diedWellerChildren's Medical Center Boston
19 Feb 2012Renato Dulbecco diedDulbeccoImperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratory
6 Sep 2012Jerome P Horwitz diedHorwitzKarmanos Institute
13 Jun 2016Beverly Griffin diedGriffinImperial College
23 Jun 2016FDA approved first clinical trial for zika virus vaccineWeinerWistar Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, GeneOne Life Science, Public Health Agency of Canada
20 Nov 2018Aaron Klug diedKlugBirkbeck College, Laboratory of Molecular Biology

9 Nov 1864

Dmitry Iosifovich Ivanovsky was born in Gdov, Russia

25 Apr 1873

Felix d'Herelle was born in Montreal, Canada

5 Oct 1879

Francis Peyton Rous was born in Baltimore MD, USA

17 Oct 1886

Ernest Goodpasture was born Clarksville, TN, USA

3 Sep 1888

Thomas M Rivers was born in Jonesboro, Georgia, USA

10 Feb 1897

John F Enders was born West Hartford, CT, USA

9 Aug 1897

Ralph W G Wyckoff was born in Geneva, NY, USA

8 May 1902

Andre Lwoff was born in Ainay-le-Chateau, France

16 Aug 1904

Wendell M Stanley was born in Ridgeville IN, USA

11 Sep 1904

Ludwig Gross born in Krakow, Poland

4 Sep 1906

Max Delbruck was born in Berlin, Germany

1 Jul 1907

Norman Wingate (Bill) Pirie was born in Eastbourne, UK

4 Dec 1908

Alfred D Hershey was born in Owosso, MI, USA

29 Jul 1910

Heinz Ludwig Fraenkel-Conrat was born in Breslau, German Empire (now Wroclaw, Poland)

1911

First cancer-causing virus discovered

13 Aug 1912

Salvador E Luria was born in Torino, Italy

22 Feb 1914

Renato Dulbecco was born in Catanzaro, Italy

28 Oct 1914

Jonas Salk was born in New York City, USA

15 Jun 1915

Thomas H Weller was born in Ann Arbor MI, USA

25 Aug 1916

Frederick Chapman Robbins was born in Auburn AL, USA

16 Jan 1919

Jerome P Horwitz was born

20 Jun 1920

Dmitry I Ivanovsky died

11 Aug 1926

Aaron Klug was born in Zelvas, Lithuania

23 Jan 1930

Beverly Griffin was born in Delhi, Louisiana, USA

10 Dec 1934

Howard M Temin was born in Philadelphia, PA, USA

10 Dec 1934

John Michael Bishop born in York, PA, USA

7 Mar 1938

David Baltimore was born in New York City

10 Jan 1947

First time polio virus was isolated

30 Jul 1947

Francoise Barré-Sinoussi born in Paris, France

28 Jan 1949

Polio virus successfully grown on human embryonic cells in culture

22 Feb 1949

Felix d'Herelle died

1 May 1952

First immortal human cell line developed

23 Feb 1954

Salk polio vaccine trial began

15 Oct 1955

Virus dismantled and put back together to reconstitute a live virus

20 Sep 1960

Ernest Goodpasture died

1962

WI-38 cell line developed - important to development of vaccines

12 May 1962

Thomas M Rivers died

1963 - 1963

Development of first attentuated measles virus vaccine

1963

Creation of first vaccine against mumps

1963

First report linking a specific virus (herpes simplex virus) to a specific cancer (cervical cancer)

Dec 1966

Scientists detect antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus in patients with nasopharyngeal cancer which suggest the cancer is caused by a virus.

1969 - 1970

First license approved in US and Europe for vaccine against rubella (German measles)

27 Jul 1970

Reverse transcriptase first isolated

15 Jun 1971

Wendell M Stanley died

16 Feb 1972

Francis Peyton Rous died

1979

First DNA fragments of Epstein Barr Virus cloned

1980

US licensed first rabies vaccine for human use

9 Mar 1981

Max Delbruck died

10 Jul 1981

Complete library of overlapping DNA fragments of Epstein Barr Virus cloned

29 Mar 1982

FDA approved acyclovir, the first successful antiviral drug, for treating the herpes virus

1983

Link drawn between immune deficiency and cancer

1983

WHO argued hepatitis B virus second only to tobacco as cause of cancer

Jun 1983

Harald Zur Hausen identifies the human papillomavirus as the causative agent of cervical cancer

8 Sep 1985

John F Enders died

1990

US FDA approved BCG, a bacterial vaccine against tuberculosis, to treat early stage bladder cancer. It was the first FDA approved immunotherapy

6 Feb 1991

Salvador E Luria died

9 Feb 1994

Howard M Temin died

30 Sep 1994

Andre Michel Lwoff died

3 Nov 1994

Ralph W G Wyckoff died

1995

US licensed first wildlife rabies vaccine

23 Jun 1995

Jonas Salk died

29 Mar 1997

Norman Wingate (Bill) Pirie died

22 May 1997

Alfred D Hershey died

10 Apr 1999

Heinz Ludwig Fraenkel-Conrat died

19 Jul 1999

Ludwik Gross died

12 Jul 2002

Polio: First ever virus synthesised from chemicals alone

4 Aug 2003

Frederick Chapman Robbins died

2006

Vaccine approved for preventing rotavirus, a major kiler of children

31 Jan 2008

New vaccine delivery system unveiled for preventing viral diseases

23 Aug 2008

Thomas H Weller died

19 Feb 2012

Renato Dulbecco died

6 Sep 2012

Jerome P Horwitz died

13 Jun 2016

Beverly Griffin died

23 Jun 2016

FDA approved first clinical trial for zika virus vaccine

20 Nov 2018

Aaron Klug died