Max Theiler Biography
Birthday: January 30, 1899 (Aquarius)
Born In: Pretoria, South Africa
Max Theiler was a South African-American virologist who developed a vaccine against yellow fever for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951. He was the first African-born Nobel laureate. Born in Pretoria as the son of a veterinary bacteriologist, he was exposed to the field of medicine from a young age. He graduated from the University of Cape Town Medical School and went to London for his post-graduate work. He eventually earned a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine following which he moved to the United States to do research at the Harvard University School of Tropical Medicine. After working on issues related to amoebic dysentery and rat bite fever, he focused upon the study of yellow fever and began working on developing a vaccine against the disease. Following years of rigorous research he successfully developed a safe, standardized vaccine for the disease. The success of the vaccine earned him international acclaim and ultimately the Nobel Prize. He was also engaged in research on dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis. He authored several scientific papers and contributed to two books, ‘Viral and Rickettsial Infections of Man’ and ‘Yellow Fever.