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January 13, 1984

Lasker awards honored long-term achievers

JAMA. 1984;251(2):179-184. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340260005002

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Less than two months ago, the Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards were presented for the 38th time in New York City. Herewith, an account of the work, part of it done some time ago, for which these three $15,000 prizes were awarded:

In less than three decades, from the mid-1950s to the present day, pediatric practice has undergone a revolution. The Public Service Award recognized two leaders of the revolution, Saul Krugman, MD, and Maurice R. Hilleman, PhD.

When Krugman became an instructor in pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine in 1948, measles, diphtheria, pertussis, and poliomyelitis were major viral diseases of childhood, causing permanent aftereffects in all too many cases.

But it was only a year later, in 1949, that John Enders, PhD, showed it was possible to cultivate polio virus, and the golden age of clinical virology essentially began. With the ability to manipulate viruses in