April 14, 2013 |
Hilary Koprowski, a virologist and former director of the Wistar Institute who developed the first polio vaccine and helped improve the rabies vaccine for humans, has died. Koprowski, who was 96 and had been in declining health in recent months, died Thursday of pneumonia at his home in Wynnewood, according to his son Christopher Koprowski, chief of radiation oncology at the Helen Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care Health System. "Hilary Koprowski left an enduring mark on medical science and the health of humankind, and his many accomplishments serve as a testament to his legacy," said Russel E. Kaufman, president and chief executive officer of the Wistar Institute.
March 10, 1992 |
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that "an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man," and in West Philadelphia there's a classic illustration of his dictum. The institution is Wistar Institute. The man is Hilary Koprowski. When the acclaimed virologist and immunologist was named its director in 1957, Wistar, the nation's oldest independent biomedical research center, had a staff of about 30 and a budget of little more than $100,000. It was, according to one scientific publication, "a dilapidated museum.
November 6, 2000 |
On a cold day in January 1948, Hilary Koprowski lifted a glass beaker in his laboratory at Pearl River, N.Y., and gulped down an oily liquid made with ground-up cotton-rat brain that had been infected with live polio virus. He survived. Two years later, that glop of goo became the world's first oral polio vaccine to be administered to human subjects - 20 boys and girls at a nearby home for retarded children. Ultimately, Koprowski, who went on to become the longtime director of Philadelphia's Wistar Institute, lost the race to get his vaccine licensed in the United States.
November 28, 1990 |
Two scientists who have made pioneering contributions in developing new vaccines and grains were awarded the John Scott Award and $10,000 each yesterday. The awards, which are made by the Board of Directors of City Trusts, a public agency, were given to Hilary Koprowski for his contributions to rabies research and Orville S. Vogel for inventing semidwarf wheats, which have helped increase the world's food supplies. Koprowski is director of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and Vogel is a professor emeritus at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash.
February 26, 2000 |
A half-century ago, on Feb. 27, 1950, Dr. Hilary Koprowski administered the first-ever dose of an oral polio vaccine to a child. Koprowski, then a 33-year-old research scientist, would go on to a brilliant career in medicine in Philadelphia, discovering vaccines to defeat German measles and rabies, and producing man-made antibodies to fight cancer. But his development of the first successful oral polio vaccine, even though later vaccines bearing the names of Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin would become more widely used, stands as one of the century's signal achievments.
April 28, 2001
Imagine being wrongly depicted as the rat who caused the plague. Imagine being unfairly blamed for infecting 53 million people with a fatal disease. Noted Philadelphia scientist Hilary Koprowski has suffered that fate for nine years because of an erroneous, published theory that tagged him as the father of AIDS. In an emotional letter to The Inquirer last fall, he wrote: "I have but one reputation. It is the sum of all my works and all my accomplishments for the last 60 years.
October 23, 1992 |
A panel of scientists has concluded there is little likelihood that Hilary Koprowski, an internationally known Philadelphia medical researcher, accidentally helped launch the AIDS epidemic in the 1950s. The six-member panel was set up by the Wistar Institute to investigate a theory put forward by Tom Curtis, a freelance writer, that Koprowski may have inadvertently spread the AIDS virus to people during trials of an oral polio vaccine in 1957 in the Belgian Congo, now known as Zaire.
May 22, 1990 |
Hilary Koprowski, an internationally known scientist who helped develop vaccines against rabies and polio, was awarded the prestigious Philadelphia Award last night. The $25,000 award, which is given annually to a Philadelphian who has set an example by serving the "best and largest interests of the community," was presented to Koprowski during ceremonies at the College of Physicians at 19 S. 22d St. Koprowski, 73, is giving the award to the Wistar Institute, which he has directed since 1957.
April 8, 1993 |
The Wistar Institute and its former director, Hilary Koprowski, have settled a bitter dispute that has racked the Philadelphia biomedical institution for the last two years. Attorneys for both parties refused to discuss details of the settlement, which was announced yesterday morning, minutes before a jury trial was scheduled to begin in U.S. District Court. Wistar officials said that Giovanni Rovera, who replaced Koprowski as director in the spring of 1991, will continue to serve as the institute's top administrator.