Obituaries

Hilary Koprowski

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4104 (Published 01 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4104
  1. Laura Newman, freelance journalist
  1. newman@nasw.org

Leading vaccinologist, biotechnology pioneer and entrepreneur, and lover of the arts

Hilary Koprowski could charm your socks off—with a piano sonata, Cuban cigars, or 100 year old cognacs. His friends adored him for his single minded pursuit of scientific discovery and advancement, as a Renaissance man, and for his unique gifts. He was close to highly regarded scientists throughout his life; including HIV researcher Robert Gallo, Nobel laureates David Baltimore and Stanley Prusiner, and the vaccinologist Stanley Plotkin. “He did things that others wouldn’t do,” said Plotkin. Michael Katz, from the March of Dimes Foundation, remembered Koprowski developing the first polio vaccine at Lederle in New York. He also remembers him giving children from Letchworth Village in New York State—a now defunct community for children with disabilities—the first crude version of the vaccine. Like others before him Koprowski defended giving the vaccine without informed or parental …

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