Jonas Edward Salk

By: Addison Pickard

About Salk

Born October 28, 1914 and died June 23, 1995 when he was 81. He attended Townsend Harris High School for the gifted. He then preceded to graduate at the age of 15. He went to school for law but then switched majors his studies to science. He then later attended New York University School of Medicine. He stood out from his peers because he decided to to medical research.


Polio is an infectious viral disease that affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord and can cause temporary or permanent paralysis and muscle wasting. Polio is also known as Infantile Paralysis because it most frequently affects children. Those who contract polio, it normally happens over night. People will go to bed feeling sick and then wake up and be unable to move parts of their body such as arms, legs, or even their chest, leading to the reason why it can cause death. It makes the victim unable to breathe therefore causing death.
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Contributions to the Field

Jonas Salk was best known for his development of the first polio vaccine. 1943 he developed a formalin-killed-virus vaccine against A and B influenza and were ready to start clinical trials. 1946 he expanded his research from the way that the human body reacts to viruses to their epidemic effect on populations. 1951 Jonas Salk narrowed the polio virus into one of three types from being extremely infectios to barely so and with this information he could then go on to develop his vaccine.

Development of the Vaccine

Development of the Vaccine

He believed that they schould use a killed polio virus as oppsed to a live one to avoid accidently infecting the patient with the virus. He exposed the virus to formaldehyde for 13 days. Eventhough after three days he couldn't detect the virus in the sample, he continued to expose it for 10 more days to assure that it was dead. He then tested it on monkeys

Works Cited

"Jonas Salk." World of Health. Gale, 2007. Biography in Context. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.

"Jonas Salk." Scientists: Their Lives and Works. Detroit: UXL, 2006. Biography in Context. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.

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