Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1954
John F. Enders, Thomas H. Weller, Frederick C. Robbins

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Frederick C. Robbins - Facts

Frederick Chapman Robbins

Frederick Chapman Robbins

Born: 25 August 1916, Auburn, AL, USA

Died: 4 August 2003, Cleveland, OH, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

Prize motivation: "for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue"

Field: virology

Prize share: 1/3


Many infectious diseases are caused by viruses - very small biological particles. A virus lacks metabolism of its own and cannot multiply without infecting a living cell. For a long time the prevailing opinion was that viruses could not be cultured in a laboratory. However, in 1941 Thomas Weller, John Enders, and Frederick Robbins succeeded in culturing the virus that causes polio in human muscle and tissue in a laboratory setting. This became an important step on the road toward a vaccine against polio.

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MLA style: "Frederick C. Robbins - Facts". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 22 Jul 2018. <>