Polyoma Virus Vaccine
Sarah Stewart's Life From Birth
Died: 1976 From stomach Cancer
At age 5, Sarah returned to the U.S.A. with her parents.
She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1927, then in 1930 she received her MS in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts. She later went on to complete her PhD at the University of Chicago in 1939, all while working at the National Institue of Health. Here she published several papers on anaerobic bacteria.
She wanted to study viruses and cancer, but she wasn't qualified according to directors at NIH and NCI (National Institute of Cancer). She left and taught bacteriology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She became the first woman to graduate at 39. She then returned to NCI to finally launch her viral, cancer research career.
Stewart's Contribution to Science
Contribution to Science: Together Stewart and Eddy showed that the virus they were working with caused 20 different tumors in mice, and could cause tumors in other small animals. They called the virus polyoma (many tumors) and they named it the SE polyomavirus. They also, showed that the virus caused cell necrosis (death of cells) and proliferation in cell culture.
Stewart then became medical director of the NCI Laboratory of Oncology where she spent the rest of her life researching several oncongenic viruses.