Nobel Prize Award for Physiology and Medicine 1951 to 1957

About the Nobel Prize Award for Physiology and Medicine from 1951 to 1957 including the scientists Enders and Robbins, their works, and history.


1951 Max Theiler (1899-1972), American (b. South Africa)

Work: Development of the yellow fever vaccine

1952 Selman A. Waksman (1888-1973), American (b. Russia)

Work: Discovery of streptomycin and its value in treating tuberculosis

1953 Fritz A. Lipmann (1899- ), American (b. Germany)

Hans A. Krebs (1900- ), British (b. Germany)

Work: Biochemical studies of cellular metabolism, including the discovery of coenzyme A

1954 John F. Enders (1897- ), American Thomas H. Weller (1915- ), American

Frederick C. Robbins (1916- ), American

Work: More efficient detection of polio and the growth of polio virus in tissue culture

Nobel Laureates: Enders turned his back on his Harvard master's degree in literature to take a Ph.D. in bacteriology, a field which absorbed the remainder of his professional life. In 1930, his first year out of school, he participated in the discovery of the antityphus vaccine. As head of the research effort at Harvard's Children's Hospital, Enders, in association with Weller and Robbins, devised a way to nurture the polio virus in sufficient quantities to study. This same method Enders later used to concoct an antimeasles vaccine. In 1963 President Kennedy awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Enders retired in 1967.

Born in Ann Arbor, Mich., Weller graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1940, spent W.W. II with the Army Medical Corps in Puerto Rico, and mustered out to work with Enders and Robbins on polio research. In 1954 he became director of Harvard's Dept. of Tropical Public Health.

Born in Alabama and raised in Missouri, Robbins graduated from Harvard Medical School in Weller's class and served during W.W.II as head of an army medical laboratory exploring the causes of various diseases then plaguing the troops. After his work with Enders and Weller, he returned to Harvard to teach pediatrics, but he left in 1952 for the staff of Cleveland City Hospital and the faculty of Western Reserve University School. He rose to dean of the latter institution in 1966.

Nobel Lore: Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk, whose effective polio vaccines were just coming into use in 1954, never received Nobel awards.

1955 Axel Hugo Theorell (1903- ), Swedish

Work: Discovered the nature of oxidation enzymes

1956 Dickinson W. Richards, Jr. (1895- ), American

Andre F. Cournand (1895- ), American (b. France)

Werner Forssmann (1904- ), German Work: Developed a technique for inserting a catheter through a vein to the heart in order to better diagnose cardiovascular problems

1957 Daniel Bovet (1907- ), Italian (b. Switzerland)

Work: Development of muscle-relaxing drugs for use during surgery

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