Joseph Stokes, Jr.

1896-1972 (76 years old)

United States

Year of great discovery/work
1920s and 1930s

As a clinical researcher and epidemiologist, Stokes recognized the effectiveness of gamma globulin—a blood product that contains antibodies—in the treatment of infectious diseases. Known as passive immunization, the administration of antibodies allows someone without their own immunity to fight an infection. While this is useful in the short term, it does not allow the infected person to benefit from their own long-term immunity. Stokes also played vital roles in the development of the first influenza, mumps and measles vaccines. In administrative roles at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, he helped further the treatment and prevention of childhood infectious diseases.

Did you know?
The research institute at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is named in honor of Stokes, Jr.