In 1926, Thomas Rivers, director of the Rockefeller Hospital, reported that viruses were obligate parasites in the sense that their reproduction is dependent on living cells. Rivers developed a safer smallpox vaccine by growing the vaccinia virus in tissue culture. The result was an attenuated strain of virus that did not have side effects or leave a scar after vaccination. Tested in hundreds of children, it was the first vaccine used in humans to be grown in tissue culture.
President of ASM in 1936
Photo by Lubosh Stepanek
The Markus Library
Merrill W. Chase Instrument Collection, exhibit, microbiology, Thomas Rivers, The Markus Library