Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk (HM2G36)

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N 39° 46.612', W 86° 9.656'

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(October 28, 1914 - June 23, 1995)

Jonas Salk was one of three sons born to Russian immigrants in New York City. Salk was the first person in his family to graduate from college and medical school. Salk spent most of his career as a microbiologist. His most noteworthy achievement was his creation of a vaccine to eradicate polio. Salk earned even more respect when he refused to patent the vaccine to profit from the discovery. He insisted he only wished to see it distributed as widely as possible. Later in his life, Salk focused on developing an AIDS vaccine and traveled across the world promoting world peace.

During medical school, Salk began a year-long internship working on an influenza vaccine.

Salk received his medical degree from New York University and joined Mount Sinai as a staff physician.

Salk accepted a research fellowship in epidemiology, the study of diseases in large populations, at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.

Salk was appointed director of the Virus Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine and spent the next eight years of his work focused solely on eradicating polio.

Watershed Moment

In 1952, Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first effective vaccine for piolmyelitis.

On April 12, 1955, Salk became an international hero when he announced a lengthy field trial involving nearly 2 million children — including Salk, his wife and their children — proved his vaccine was effective. Within two years, 100 million vaccines were given across the world and polio was eradicated from every country that used the vaccine.

He established the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, funded in part by the March of Dimes.

President Jimmy Carter awarded Salk with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil award, for his work on the polio vaccine.
HM NumberHM2G36
Placed ByCultural Trail Indianapolis
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 2:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 571855 N 4403328
Decimal Degrees39.77686667, -86.16093333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 46.612', W 86° 9.656'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 46' 36.72" N, 86° 9' 39.36" W
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