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June 01, 1999 - Image 8

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1999-06-01

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, June 1, 1999

STAMPING OUT POLIO

4

I

Postage stamp honoring olio
vaccibze developer unveiled

0

* Jonas Salk's colleagues
speak about accomplishment
of vaccine discovery
By Phil Bansal
Daily Staff Reporter
Fourty-four years ago, Thomas Francis,
chair of the Department of Epidemiology in
the University's School of Public Health,
announced to the world from Rackham
Auditorium that University alumnus Jonas
Salk developed a vaccine which would com-
bat polio.
Francis, who was Salk's professor, mentor
and longtime supporter during his time at the
University, said the vaccine had proven to be
"safe, effective" and "potent."
Last Wednesday, a small group gathered at
Rackham to witness John Talick, the Detroit
District Manager of the United States Postal
Service, unveil a stamp commemorating
Salk's achievement.
The stamp portrays Salk injecting a little
girl with the vaccine and belongs to the
1950s edition of the Postal Service's
"Celebrate the Century" commemorative
stamp program.
Salk's medical breakthrough was voted to
be the most important advancement in sci-
ence and technology for the decade.
Although Salk developed his vaccine at
the University of Pittsburgh, Francis oversaw
researchers who conducted clinical trials of
the vaccine in Ann Arbor.
During the trials, 1.8 million children were
administered with either the vaccine or a

placebo, said Public Health Prof. Hunein
Maassab, who studied under Francis as a
University graduate student in 1955.
Maassab said the trials, which lasted from
1953 to 1954, were "a hallmark of organiza-
tion, of integrity (and) of implementation,
because not before and not after (has) any
kind (of trial) of this magnitude been iitiat-
ed."
Maassab added that the reason so many
children participated in the trials was
because they were desperate for a remedy to
the disease.
"Because of the problem ... everybody
wanted to be a part of the vaccine," Maassab
said.
Ann Arbor Mayor Ingrid Sheldon, who
spoke at the unveiling ceremony, said that
"polio was a great fear all of us had."
Sheldon said she was glad "many more gen-
erations" will "never have that fear."
Dave Rich, representing Sen. Carl Levin
(D-Mich.), said "my generation never had to
deal with polio."
Tom Landry, chapter chair of the
Southeast Michigan March of Dimes, said
"Jonas has given us a legacy we can all be
proud of," and he thanked the "Post Office
for acknowledging one of America's true
heroes."
But even though Provost Nancy Cantor
said "Salk received high praise throughout
the scientific community," Time magazine
reported that Salk "had sinned unforgivably
within the brotherhood of researchers" by
not giving credit to "his colleagues at the

4

0

DANA LUNNA
Postal and University officials unveil a new stamp at Rackham Auditorium last Wednesday
commemorating the development of the polio vaccine.

Pittsburgh lab" or John Enders, a researcher
at Harvard who first gre the polio virus in
the lab, thereby making it easy and inexpen-
sive to work on a vaccine.
Enders received the Nobel Prize for his
efforts, making sure to share it with two col-
leagues. According to Maassab, Salk "will
never win the Nobel Prize."
But Maassab also considers the stigma
attached to Salk's biography "all in the back-
ground," and it remained unmentioned at the
ceremony.
As Salk has been honored with a stamp, so
too may Maassab some day.
The University professor developed the

first genetically stable, live influenza vac-
cine which will be sold under the title of
FluMist.
The vaccine may be available by the flu
season of 2000 in an intra-nasal spray form,
instead of an injection form.
Previous attempts at a live flu vaccine
failed due to their genetic instability, which
resulted in children being infected with the
flu at the clinical trial stage.
Maassab's vaccine, which was developed
at a temperature fourteen degrees colder than
previous research attempts, was proven safe "
for all people from the ages of two months to
sixty-five years.

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Earn $10 in a 1 hour computer-mediated negotiation
experiment that is being held in the business school.
Dates: June 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17
Times: 4:30 and 6:00 PM. te'

KNWBUDGET
OF NEWS? Continued from Page 1
CALL 76-DAILY. Engler's original plan of lumping
the state's public universities into
four general groups used inappro
priate methodology, according to
Schwarz.
The proposal based the amount of
federal funds upon the number of
in-state students.
This method would be a disadvan-
tage to the University, since about
30 percent of University undergrad-
uates and half of graduate students
are out-of-state.
"The methodology was punitive
to U of M," Schwarz said.
University President Leo
35 CLAY ARTISTS OFFER Bollinger has said he is opposed to
SCULPTURAL & Engler's proposal, which he felt
FUNCTIONAL CERAMICS oversimplified the funding process
and disregarded the diverse needs of
J different universities around the
stale.
1"It's critical that we think about a
university and its needs broadly, and
not to he seduced by forimsulas,"
Bollinger said last mnthsl at a llous@
Education Subcomnmittee hseartisg tn
201ER HillD t Lnsn
sn Hill St. very easy to make short-
663-4970 sighted decisions when it comes to
:!universities," Bollinger said.

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