Austrian’s awards include the Maxwell Finland plenary lecture at the Infectious Diseases Society of America annual session in 1974. entitled “Random gleanings from a life with the pneumococcus” and the 1978 Albert Lasker Medical Research Award. His Lasker award was for the development and clear demonstration of the efficacy of a purified vaccine of capsular polysaccharides in the prevention of pneumococcal disease. Prior to the Austrian polysaccharide vaccine scientists had prepared simpler whole bacteria and capsular polysaccharide vaccines but they were not accepted as standard of care by the medical community. Several medical authorities touted this era as “the end of infectious diseases” due to the remarkable mortality benefits derived from new antimicrobials and anti-parasitics and vaccine research was not thought to be worthwhile.
When antibiotics came into use for the cure of... Read More