Sunday marks the 66th anniversary to the day when the first inoculations began on nearly 2 million children who received Salk’s vaccine candidate in 1954. By 1955, the pivotal public health experiment was deemed a success, with the vaccine proving to be safe, potent and 90% effective in thwarting polio.
The achievement put Pittsburgh on the global map as a leader in cutting-edge medical research and set the stage for decades of investments and advancements in Pitt’s vaccine research capabilities. As the nation confronts the covid-19 pandemic, Pittsburgh scientists have joined the global race to stop the spread of yet another disease horrifying the world.
“Pittsburgh has such a tremendous track record in infectious disease research. There are people working on influenza, there are people working on viruses that cause cancer, there are people who work on HIV. There’s a phenomenal cohort of people in the University of Pittsburgh — and that’s what attracted me,” said Paul Duprex, a virologist who took the helm last year as director of Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research.