Virologists

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Virologists study the structure, classification, and evolution of viruses, and analyze how they infect host cells and cause disease. Viruses are submicroscopic parasitic particles that exploit host cells to reproduce quickly. Virology is a field of microbiology. Virologists classify the viruses either according to the host cell they infect (animal viruses, plant viruses) or the shape of the virus structure. Studying viruses is of immense significance to the field of medicine as they cause several dangerous diseases like hepatitis, AIDS, influenza and even some types of cancer. Virologists work alongside with medical professionals to determine how some viruses cause diseases and how these can be prevented or treated. Their research is instrumental in the development of vaccines and drugs. , Even though viruses are primarily known to be disease causing, some viruses are being used as gene vectors in gene therapy to treat genetic disorders. Virologists the world over are engaged in research to find more uses for viruses in the medical field. Virologists use highly sophisticated tools and techniques like electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy for their research. Virologists primarily work in laboratories and are required to take precautionary measures to protect them from harmful viruses during the course of their work. Browse this section to explore about the life and works of various famous virologists from all over the world.
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 1 
Jonas Salk
(Medical researcher)
Jonas Salk
6
Birthdate: October 28, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 23, 1995

If the world is successful in its fight against polio, the credit goes to American virologist Jonas Salk who developed a vaccine for the disease. Described as a “miracle worker”, his concerns for humanity were reflected in the fact that he did not claim a patent for the vaccine. He founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, based in California.

 2 
Albert Sabin
(Polish-American Medical Researcher Best Known for Developing the Oral Polio Vaccine)
Albert Sabin
7
Birthdate: August 26, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Białystok, Poland
Died: March 3, 1993

Polish-American medical researcher Albert Bruce Sabin is best-remembered for developing oral polio vaccine which is easier to give and more effective than earlier polio vaccine. His vaccine has remained instrumental in the ongoing effort of eradicating polio. Other vaccines developed by Sabin include the ones for encephalitis and dengue. He served as President of Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

 3 
Luc Montagnier
(Virologist & Discoverer of HIV)
Luc Montagnier
10
Birthdate: August 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chabris, France
Died: February 8, 2022

French virologist Luc Montagnier is known for discovering the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which led him to jointly receive the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Montagnier also made headlines promoting controversial and unverified claims related to vaccinations, homeopathy and COVID-19 pandemic, which he argued as man-made and possibly a result of an attempt to create an HIV/AIDS vaccine.

 4 
Hilary Koprowski
(Virologist, Immunologist)
Hilary Koprowski
6
Birthdate: December 5, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Warsaw
Died: April 11, 2013

Hilary Koprowski was a Polish virologist and immunologist. He spent the majority of his career in USA and created an effective live polio vaccine. He also contributed significantly to the development of an improved rabies vaccine. He was the author or co-author of over 875 scientific papers. He was the recipient of many awards, including the Albert Sabin Gold Medal.

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 5 
David Baltimore
(Virologist)
David Baltimore
5
Birthdate: March 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

David Baltimore is an American university administrator and biologist. He is currently serving as President Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He won the 1975 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries concerning the interaction between the genetic material of the cell and tumor viruses. In 1999, he was honored with the National Medal of Science. 

 6 
Robert Gallo
(American Biomedical Researcher Known for His Role in Establishing HIV as the Infectious Agent Responsible for AIDS)
Robert Gallo
12
Birthdate: March 23, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Waterbury

Robert Gallo is an American biomedical researcher best known for his immense contribution in ascertaining HIV as the infectious agent accountable for AIDS. He also played a major role in the progression of the HIV blood test and subsequent HIV research. He is also credited with co-founding the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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 7 
David Ho
(Taiwanese-American Physician Whose Contribution Led to the Understanding and Development of Treatment for HIV Infection)
David Ho
5
Birthdate: November 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Taichung, Taiwan

David Ho is a Taiwanese-American physician, AIDS researcher, and virologist. He is best known for his contributions that led to the understanding and development of treatment for HIV infection. Ho is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Ernst Jung Prize, the Hoechst Marion Roussel Award, and an induction into the California Hall of Fame.

 8 
Michiaki Takahashi
(Virologist)
Michiaki Takahashi
1
Birthdate: 1928 AD
Birthplace: Ōsaka, Japan
Died: December 16, 2013
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 9 
Martinus Beijerinck
(Microbiologist)
Martinus Beijerinck
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1851
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: January 1, 1931
 10 
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
(Virologist, Co-discoverer of HIV)
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
3
Birthdate: July 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
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 11 
Dmitri Ivanovsky
(Russian Botanist, the Co-Discoverer of Viruses and One of the Founders of Virology)
Dmitri Ivanovsky
3
Birthdate: October 28, 1864
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gdov, Russia
Died: June 20, 1920

Best remembered for his co-discovery of viruses during his research on the mosaic disease in tobacco, Russian botanist Dmitri Ivanovsky is regarded as one of the pioneers of virology. Interestingly, following his discovery, he didn’t focus on virology much and taught plant anatomy and physiology instead.

 12 
Howard Martin Temin
(American Geneticist, Virologist and Winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Howard Martin Temin
3
Birthdate: December 10, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 9, 1994

Virologist Howard Martin Temin won his Nobel Prize for co-discovering the enzyme reverse transcriptase. His initial research was in the area of animal cancers, as he was also a PhD in animal virology from Caltech. He spent almost his entire academic career teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

 13 
Ijad Madisch
(Virologist and Businessperson)
Ijad Madisch
0
Birthdate: October 7, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wolfsburg, Germany
 14 
Harald zur Hausen
(Virologist)
Harald zur Hausen
5
Birthdate: March 11, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gelsenkirchen
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 15 
Renato Dulbecco
(Virologist)
Renato Dulbecco
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Italy
Died: February 19, 2012

Renato Dulbecco was an Italian-American virologist whose work on oncoviruses earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1975. Over the course of his illustrious career, Renato Dulbecco also won other prestigious awards, such as the Marjory Stephenson Prize, Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, and Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology.  

 16 
John Franklin Enders
(American Biomedical Scientist Regarded as 'Father of Modern Vaccines')
John Franklin Enders
4
Birthdate: February 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: West Hartford, Connecticut
Died: September 8, 1985

John Franklin Enders was an American biomedical scientist best remembered for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1954 along with Thomas Huckle Weller and Frederick Chapman Robbins for discovering that poliomyelitis viruses have the ability to grow in cultures of different types of tissue. John Franklin Enders is often referred to as the Father of Modern Vaccines.

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 17 
Marion Koopmans
(Virologist)
Marion Koopmans
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tegelen

Marion Koopmans is a Dutch virologist whose research considers noroviruses, emerging infectious diseases, and veterinary medicine. A respected virologist, Koopmans is part of the World Health Organization's scientific advisory group. Over the years, she has been honored with several prestigious awards, including the Machiavelli Prize. Currently, Marion Koopmans is working to understand the spread of Covid-19 disease.

 18 
Frank Fenner
(Scientist)
Frank Fenner
2
Birthdate: December 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ballarat, Australia
Died: November 22, 2010

Frank Fenner was an Australian scientist best remembered for his achievements in the field of virology. He played a key role in the eradication of smallpox. He is also credited with introducing the Myxoma virus, which played a major role in controlling Australia's rabbit plague. During his illustrious career, Fenner was honored with prestigious awards, such as the WHO Medal.

 19 
Francis Peyton Rous
(American Pathologist & Winner of 1966 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Francis Peyton Rous
2
Birthdate: October 5, 1879
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: February 16, 1970

Francis Peyton Rous was an American pathologist best remembered for his works in blood transfusion, oncoviruses, and physiology of digestion. In 1966, Rous was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery in 1911 that led to the understanding of how viruses influence the progression of certain types of cancer.

 20 
Ilaria Capua
(Virologist)
Ilaria Capua
2
Birthdate: April 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 21 
Frank Macfarlane Burnet
2
Birthdate: September 3, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Traralgon, Australia
Died: August 31, 1985

Frank Macfarlane Burnet was an Australian virologist. Best remembered for his contribution to immunology, Burnet won the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for predicting acquired immunological tolerance. Burnet is also credited with developing and popularizing the theory of clonal selection. In 1960, he was also named the Australian of the Year for his contributions to science. 

 22 
Nathan Wolfe
(American Virologist & Epidemiologist Known for His Research on the Transmission of Infectious Viruses)
Nathan Wolfe
2
Birthdate: August 24, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Nathan Wolfe is an American virologist best known for founding a not-for-profit organization called Global Viral, where he is serving as the director. Wolfe, who is also credited with founding Metabiota, spent more than eight years in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa conducting biomedical research. In 2009, Wolfe was mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine's Top 100 Agents of Change list.

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 23 
Thomas Huckle Weller
(American Virologist Known for Cultivating Polio Virus in a Test Tube)
Thomas Huckle Weller
2
Birthdate: June 15, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: August 23, 2008

Thomas Huckle Weller was an American virologist best remembered for his work that enabled the cultivation of polio viruses in a test tube, for which he received the prestigious 1954 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine alongside Frederick Chapman Robbins and John Franklin Enders. Thomas Huckle Weller was also the recipient of E. Mead Johnson Award and George Ledlie Prize.

 24 
Frederick Chapman Robbins
(Virologist and Paediatrician)
Frederick Chapman Robbins
2
Birthdate: August 25, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auburn, Alabama, United States
Died: August 4, 2003

Nobel Prize-winning American pediatrician and virologist Frederick Chapman Robbins is best remembered for his pathbreaking research on the poliomyelitis virus, which later helped in the development of polio vaccines. He also taught pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University and worked with the US Army’s virus and rickettsia lab.

 25 
Thomas Francis, Jr.
1
Birthdate: July 15, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gas City, Indiana, United States
Died: October 1, 1969

Microbiologist Thomas Francis, Jr. is best remembered for identifying the influenza A and influenza B strains and creating a vaccine effective against both. He also contributed to the research on the treatment of pneumonia. His medical research won his many accolades and awards, such as the Medal of Freedom.

 26 
Charles Mérieux
(French virologist)
Charles Mérieux
1
Birthdate: January 9, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: January 19, 2001
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 27 
Robert Huebner
(American Virologist and Physician Known for His Research Regarding Connection Between Viruses and Cancer)
Robert Huebner
1
Birthdate: February 23, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cheviot, Ohio, United States
Died: August 26, 1998

Robert Huebner was an American virologist and physician best remembered for his research into viruses and the connection between viruses and cancer. His research led to new treatments and earned him the prestigious National Medal of Science in 1970. Robert Huebner was also inducted into the US National Academy of Sciences.

 28 
Thomas Milton Rivers
(American Virologist and Bacteriologist Who is Known as the 'Father of Modern Virology')
Thomas Milton Rivers
1
Birthdate: September 3, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jonesboro, Georgia, United States
Died: May 12, 1962

Thomas Milton Rivers was an American virologist and bacteriologist. Referred to as the father of modern virology, Rivers is best remembered for his association with the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research; his work during the 1930s and 1940s helped the institute become a leader in viral research. In 1958, Rivers was made an inductee of the Polio Hall of Fame. 

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 29 
John Skehel
(Virologist, Biologist)
John Skehel
0
Birthdate: February 27, 1941
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nowrap Blackburn, England
 30 
Norman Pirie
(British Virologist and Biochemist Known for Crystallization of Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus)
Norman Pirie
1
Birthdate: July 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Easebourne, West Sussex,England
Died: March 29, 1997

Norman Pirie was a British virologist and biochemist. He is best remembered for isolating tomato bushy stunt virus and discovering that a virus can be crystallized in 1936. Norman Pirie's work was a prominent milestone in understanding RNA and DNA.

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 31 
Thomas C. Peebles
(The First Person to Successfully Isolate the Measles Virus)
Thomas C. Peebles
1
Birthdate: June 5, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts
Died: July 8, 2010

Thomas C. Peebles was an American physician best remembered for his discoveries in the field of medicine. He was the first person to successfully isolate the measles virus. Thomas C. Peebles' research also proved that tetanus vaccine could be administered once in every 10 years as opposed to the popular belief that it must be given every year.

 32 
Marguerite Vogt
(Virologist and Cancer Biologist Known for Her Research on Polio and Cancer)
Marguerite Vogt
1
Birthdate: February 13, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: July 6, 2007

Marguerite Vogt was a German-born American virologist and cancer biologist. She is best remembered for her research on cancer and polio at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the USA. Apart from making immense contributions as a scientist in various fields, Marguerite Vogt also served as a mentor to many junior scientists, including several future Nobel laureates.

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 33 
Ludwig Gross
(Polish-American Virologist Who Discovered Two Different Tumor Viruses Capable of Causing Cancers in Lab Mice)
Ludwig Gross
1
Birthdate: September 11, 1904
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: July 19, 1999

Ludwig Gross was a Polish-American virologist who discovered two different tumor viruses capable of causing cancers in lab mice. Ludwig Gross was the recipient of many prestigious awards such as the R.R. de Villiers Foundation Award for Leukemia Research, Bertner Foundation Award, and William B. Coley Award.

 34 
Jean Lindenmann
(Virologist)
Jean Lindenmann
3
Birthdate: September 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia
Died: January 15, 2015
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 35 
Lionel Crawford
(Virologist, Biologist)
Lionel Crawford
0
Birthdate: 1932 AD
Birthplace: United Kingdom
 36 
Harold Ginsberg
(American Microbiologist Known for His Pioneering Research on AIDS, Hepatitis-B and Other Infectious Disease)
Harold Ginsberg
0
Birthdate: May 27, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Died: February 2, 2003
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 37 
Irving Millman
(American Microbiologist and Virologist Whose Work Led to the Development of a Vaccine Against Hepatitis B)
Irving Millman
0
Birthdate: May 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 17, 2012

Irving Millman was an American microbiologist and virologist. He is best remembered for his work which led to the formation of a test to nose out hepatitis B. Irving Millman was also involved in a team that developed a vaccine, which is now commonly administered to the newborns around the world.

 38 
Nadejda Branzan
(Physician)
Nadejda Branzan
0
Birthdate: August 29, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rezina, Moldova
Died: May 25, 2020
 39 
Harry Martin Meyer, Jr.
(American Pediatric Virologist Who Played a Key Role in the Development of German Measles Vaccine)
Harry Martin Meyer, Jr.
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Texas, United States
Died: August 19, 2001

Harry Martin Meyer Jr., was an American pediatric virologist best remembered for his role in defeating several infectious diseases, including German measles. He achieved national prominence when he discovered the first effective vaccine against German measles. Harry Martin Meyer Jr., is also credited with publishing over 100 scientific papers for textbooks.