Arlington, Virginia – John B. Robbins, who played central roles in the development of vaccines to prevent Haemophilus Influenzae B (Hib), a leading cause of meningitis, and pertussis, has been chosen as the ninth recipient of the Albert Sabin Gold Medal. The Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute awards the medal annually to an exemplary contributor to disease prevention. Robbins is chief of the Laboratory of Developmental and Molecular Immunity at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland.
“A MAN ON A MISSION”
“John Robbins is an extraordinary physician, scientist and public servant,” said H. R. Shepherd, chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. “His career has been devoted to continuing Albert Sabin’s quest to conquer disease with vaccines and immunization. His research has concentrated on protecting infants and children from disease. He developed a vaccine that has slashed the incidence of meningitis. The acellular vaccine for pertussis developed by Dr. Robbins and his colleagues improved the safety of immunization.”
Mr. Shepherd commended Dr. Robbins’ “lifelong commitment to disease prevention. At a time in his life when most people sit back and reflect on the past, he is charging ahead to develop several new vaccines. He is a man on a mission and that mission is to protect people all over the world from deadly diseases.”
MEDAL TO BE PRESENTED APRIL 23
Dr. Robbins will receive the prestigious prize at a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia on Monday, April 23. The Sabin Gold Medal will be presented during the 4th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research, at an assembly of several hundred of Dr. Robbins’ fellow vaccine scientists.
The Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal is named for the scientist who developed the oral polio vaccine. Dr. Sabin’s vaccine was the first that could be administered without being injected through a needle. Developing alternatives to eh needle and syringe was a lifetime goal of Dr. Sabin. He recognized that other methods of administration, such as his oral vaccine, would simplify vaccination, making it both easier and less expensive to immunize large population groups. Indeed, his vaccine quickly became the polio vaccine of choice throughout the world following its introduction in 1961. It has been at the heart of the global campaign that has eradicated polio from all but 20 countries in the world.
PHYSICIAN, SCIENTIS, EDUCATOR
Before joining the National Institutes of Health in 1970, Dr. Robbins was assistant professor of pediatrics and microbiology at the University of Florida, and associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Between those faculty appointments, he did research at the Weizmann Institute for Science in Rehovot, Israel.
For information contact:
H.R. Shepherd, Sabin Vaccine Institute