Marguerite Vogt Biography
(Biologist & Virologist)
Birthday: February 13, 1913 (Aquarius)
Born In: Berlin, Germany
Marguerite Vogt was a German-born American cancer biologist and virologist best known for her research on polio and cancer at the ‘Salk Institute for Biological Studies’. She collaborated with Nobel Prize-winning scientist Renato Dulbecco to analyse the way polio virus develops plagues in cell cultures, a discovery that eventually aided in the development of a polio vaccine. The duo examined how some viruses take control of the cells infected by them. They displayed that polyomavirus, the small DNA viruses that are characteristically extensive, tucks in their own DNA into that of the host cell. These analyses of the duo changed the descriptive form of virology to a more determinable one. Vogt and Dulbecco also showed the way a virus can change a cell to a cancerous one. Their investigations on cancer led to some of the first inklings of the genetic characteristic of the disease. She began her research on polio virus at the ‘California Institute of Technology’ (Caltech). Thereafter she joined the ‘Salk Institute for Biological Studies’ where she worked for decades and remained the oldest working scientist of the institute who had spent more years at a Salk bench than any other scientist. Over a career span of almost an incredible eight decades, Vogt, a dedicated scientist who worked for around ten hours a day for generally six days a week, trained and aided legion of scientists, graduate pupils and postdoctoral fellows of whom four researchers went on to win the ‘Nobel Prize’. However she remained one of the most unsung female scientists who won no professional award or distinction for her scientific contributions.