Maurice Hilleman

Maurice Hilleman

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Maurice Hilleman

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Description:
Maurice Ralph Hilleman (August 30, 1919 – April 11, 2005) was an American microbiologist who specialized in vaccinology and developed over three dozen vaccines, more than any other scientist. Of the fourteen vaccines routinely recommended in current vaccine schedules, he developed eight: those for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. He also played a role in the discovery of the cold-producing adenoviruses, the hepatitis viruses, and the cancer-causing virus SV40.

He is credited with saving more lives than any other scientist of the 20th century. Robert Gallo described him as "the most successful vaccinologist in history".

Biography

Early life and education

Hilleman was born on a farm near the high plains town of Miles City, Montana. His parents were Anna and Gustav Hillemann, and he was their eighth child. His twin sister died when he was born, and his mother died two days later. He was raised in the nearby house hold of his uncle, Robert Hilleman, and worked in his youth on the family farm. He credits much of his success to his work with chickens as a boy. Chicken eggs are used to develop vaccines based on weakened viruses.

His family belonged to the fundamentalist Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. When he was in the eighth grade, he...
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