John Franklin Enders
|Died||September 8, 1985 (aged 88)|
|Education||St. Paul's School|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Known for||culturing poliovirus, isolating measlesvirus, developing measles vaccine|
|Awards||Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (1954)|
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1954)
Cameron Prize for Therapeutics of the University of Edinburgh (1960)
John Franklin Enders (February 10, 1897 – September 8, 1985) was an American biomedical scientist and Nobel Laureate. Enders has been called "The Father of Modern Vaccines."
Enders was born in West Hartford, Connecticut on February 10, 1897. His father, John Ostrom Enders, was CEO of the Hartford National Bank and left him a fortune of $19 million upon his death. He attended the Noah Webster School in Hartford, and St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. After attending Yale University a short time, he joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1918 as a flight instructor and a lieutenant.
After returning from World War I, he graduated from Yale, where he was a member of Scroll and Key as well as Delta Kappa Epsilon. He went into real estate in 1922, and tried several careers before choosing the biomedical field with a focus on infectious diseases, gaining a Ph.D. at Harvard in 1930. He later joined the faculty at Children's Hospital Boston.
Enders died at his summer home in Waterford, Connecticut, aged 88, on 8 September, 1985. His wife died in 2000.
In 1949, Enders, Thomas Huckle Weller, and Frederick Chapman Robbins reported successful in vitro culture of an animal virus—poliovirus. The three received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue".
Meanwhile, Jonas Salk applied the Enders-Weller-Robbins technique to produce large quantities of poliovirus, and then developed a polio vaccine in 1952. Upon the 1954 polio vaccine field trial, whose success Salk announced on the radio, Salk became a public hero but failed to credit the many other researchers that his effort rode upon, and was somewhat shunned by America's scientific establishment.
In 1954, Enders and Thomas C. Peebles isolated measlesvirus from an 11-year-old boy, David Edmonston. Disappointed by polio vaccine's development and involvement in some cases of polio and death—what Enders attributed to Salk's technique—Enders began development of measles vaccine. In October 1960, an Enders team began trials on 1,500 mentally retarded children in New York City and on 4,000 children in Nigeria. Refusing credit for merely himself when The New York Times announced the measles vaccine effective on September 17, 1961, Enders wrote to the newspaper to acknowledge the work of various colleagues and the collaborative nature of the research. In 1963, a deactivated measles vaccine and an attenuated measles vaccine were introduced by Pfizer and Merck & Co., respectively.
He continued to work in virology research till the late 1970s and retired from the laboratory at the age of 80.
Enders also held honorary doctoral degrees from 13 universities.
Prize motivation: for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue.
In 1963, Pfizer introduced a deactivated measles vaccine, and Merck & Co introduced an attenuated measles vaccine.
Credit: US National Archives and Records Administration .... The busts, and those they represent (those on the wall but not present are in brackets), are, from left to right: (Jakob Heine, Karl Oskar Medin, Ivar Wickman, Karl Landsteiner), Thomas Milton Rivers, Charles Armstrong, John R. Paul, Thomas Francis, Jr., Albert Sabin, Joseph L. Melnick, Isabel Morgan, Howard A. Howe, David Bodian, (John F. Enders), Jonas E. Salk, Franklin D. Roosevelt (represented by his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt), Basil O'Connor.
This paper is an attempt to review in the light of earlier research certain recent work on measles virus with emphasis on the development of a living attenuated vaccine against the disease. It was presented as a Cameron Prize Lecture before the Faculty of Medicine, Edinburgh University, 16 May 1961. ....
... and the Cameron Prize for Practical Therapeutics was awarded in absentia to Professor John Frank Enders, Professor of Bacteriology and Immunology in the University of car (sic), for his work on the growing of virus of poliomyelitis and other studies in viruses.