Frederick C. Robbins


Frederick Chapman Robbins

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Frederick Chapman Robbins
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1954

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”

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 Prize Outreach AB 2024. Fri. 14 Jun 2024. <>

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