David Bodian

1910-1992 (82 years old)

United States

Year of great discovery/work
1940s and 1950s

Bodian and his team established that the polio viruses entered the body via the mouth and digestive tract and traveled through the bloodstream before attacking the central nervous system. Thus, it was possible for antibodies in the blood to fight the disease—those antibodies just had to be created. This discovery supported the hypothesis that a vaccine could be made to prevent polio and laid the groundwork for the vaccine research and discoveries of Enders/ Weller/Robbins, Salk, and Sabin. The same team also developed a vaccine to protect monkeys from polio. Bodian served on several regulatory and oversight committees to set standards and regulations for the production of vaccines.

Did you know?
Bodian developed a new technique to stain nerve fibers and endings. It was named after him (Bodian stain).