Born: June 15, 1915
Died: August 23, 2008
Thomas Huckle Weller, along with John F. Enders and Frederick C. Robbins, was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for cultivating poliomyelitis virus in non-nervous tissue. This advance made it possible for scientists to study the virus in the laboratory, which in turn led to the development of polio vaccines.
Biographical information: Dr. Weller was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan. He studied at the Harvard Medical School and did post-graduate work at the Children's Hospital of Boston. During World War II, he served as head of the military Laboratory of Parasitology, Bacteriology and Virus Diseases of the Antilles Department, earning the rank of major. After the war, he returned to the laboratory of Dr. John Enders, where they did their ground-breaking work with Dr. Frederick C. Robbins.
Weller is a notable figure in the world of tropical medicine and at the time of his death was a Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Tropical Medicine Emeritus at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The transcript of the 1954 Nobel Prize, Medicine category, award acceptance speech is available from The Nobel Foundation.
Articles found at HighWire Press® Stanford University (*Asterisk denotes article is free of subscription fee.)
Cultivation of the Lansing Strain of Poliomyelitis Virus in Cultures of Various Human Embryonic Tissues.* John F. Enders, Thomas H. Weller, and Frederick C. Robbins. Science, Jan 1949; 109: 85 - 87.
Paralytic Poliomyelitis And Of Pleurodynia.* Alwin M. Pappenheimer, Joan B. Daniels, F. S. Cheever, and T. H. Weller. J. Exp. Med., Aug 1950; 92: 169 - 190.
Lesions Caused In Suckling Mice By Certain Viruses Isolated From Cases Of So Called Non- Non-Paralytic Poliomyelitis And Of Pleurodynia.* Alwin M. Pappenheimer, Joan B. Daniels, F. S. Cheever, and T. H. Weller. J. Exp. Med., Aug 1950; 92: 169 - 190.
Studies On The Cultivation Of Poliomyelitis Viruses In Tissue Culture: V. The Direct Isolation And Serologic Identification Of Virus Strains In Tissue Culture From Patients With Non-paralytic And Paralytic Poliomyelitis. F. C. Robbins, J. F. Enders, T. H. Weller, And G. L. Florentino. Am. J. Epidemiol., Sep 1951; 54: 286 - 293.
Studies on the Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Tissue Culture: I. The Propagation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Suspended Cell Cultures of Various Human Tissues. Thomas H. Weller, John F. Enders, Frederick C. Robbins, and Marguerite B. Stoddard. J. Immunol., Dec 1952; 69: 645 - 671.
Studies on the Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Tissue Culture: II. The Propagation of the Poliomyelitis Viruses in Roller-Tube Cultures of Various Human Tissues. Frederick C. Robbins, Thomas H. Weller, and John F. Enders. J. Immunol., Dec 1952; 69: 673 - 694.
American Academy Of Pediatrics: Committee On Control Of Infectious Diseases: Immunization Against Poliomyelitis.* Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases, Lewis L. Coriell, John H. Dent, Horace L. Hodes, C. Henry Kempe, George A. McNaughton, Franklin H. Top, Dwain N. Walcher, Robert Ward, Thomas H. Weller, Jose M. Valdes, and Alex J. Steigman Pediatrics, Aug 1960; 26: 331 – 332.
Contemporary Plagues and Social Progress. Thomas H. Weller. Pediatrics, Sep 1980; 66: 458 - 461.
Infectious Diseases and Public Health. Thomas H. Weller. Pediatrics, Jul 1998; 102: 284 - 285.
Poliomyelitis: Its Global Demise? Thomas H. Weller. Pediatrics, Sep 1984; 74: 442.
Articles Found at ScienceDirect.com
A Living Image Of My Beliefs. Alex J. Steigman, Lewis L. Coriell, David Karzon, George A. Mc Naughton, Margaret H.D. Smith, Henry B. Strenge, Franklin B. Top, Dwain N. Walcher, Robert Ward and Thomas H. Weller. The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 59, Issue 4, October 1961, page 632.
Polio: Its History And Its Eradication. Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Volume 11, Issue 4, October 2000, Pages 280-286 Jan E. Drutz and B.Lee Ligon.
Articles found at JSTOR
Costs and Benefits of Medical Research: A Case Study of Poliomyelitis. Burton A. Weisbrod. The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 79, No. 3 (May, 1971), pp. 527-544.
From PubMed (a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health).
Cultivation of the Lansing Strain of Poliomyelitis Virus in Cultures of Various Human Embryonic Tissues. Science. 1949 Jan 28;109(2822):85-87. No abstract available.
Isolation of Poliovirus — John Enders and the Nobel Prize. Rosen FS. Extract Full Text PDF. N Engl J Med 351:1481, October 7, 2004 Perspective.
April 12, 1955 — Tommy Francis and the Salk Vaccine. Markel H. Extract Full Text PDF. N Engl J Med 352:1408, April 7, 2005 Perspective.
From Culture to Vaccine — Salk and Sabin. Katz SL. Extract Full Text PDF. N Engl J Med 351:1485, October 7, 2004 Perspective.
Looking Back on the Millennium in Medicine. “... the development of an effective vaccine by John Enders almost 200 years later. Enders, along with Thomas Weller and Frederick Robbins, also had a pivotal role in developing the poliomyelitis vaccine, ....” N Engl J Med 342:42, January 6, 2000 Editorial.
American Academy of Pediatrics. ( * Asterisk denotes article is free of subscription fee.)
Committee On Control Of Infectious Diseases: Immunization Against Poliomyelitis.* Lewis L. Coriell, John H. Dent, Horace L. Hodes, C. Henry Kempe, George A. McNaughton, Franklin H. Top, Dwain N. Walcher, Robert Ward, Thomas H. Weller, Jose M. Valdes, and Alex J. Steigman Pediatrics, Aug 1960; 26: 331 - 332.
Epidemiologic perspectives and the Special Program in Tropical Diseases of the World Health Organization.* T H Weller. Am J Public Health, Dec 1977; 67: 1181 - 1182.
Lesions Caused In Suckling Mice By Certain Viruses Isolated From Cases Of So Called Non-Paralytic Poliomyelitis And Of Pleurodynia.* Alwin M. Pappenheimer, Joan B. Daniels, F. S. Cheever, and T. H. Weller J. Exp. Med., Aug 1950; 92: 169 - 190.
Live Poliovirus Vaccines. (Scientific Publication No. 44), by various authors (A Symposium). 713 pages, illustrated. Washington, D.C., Pan American Sanitary Bureau, 1959. Thomas H. Weller Am J Trop Med Hyg, Jul 1960; 9: 467.
Selected papers on virology. Nicholas Hahon Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.©1964. OCLC: 2358535 Located at 487 libraries.
Classics in Infectious Diseases. The Cultivation of the Poliomyelitis Viruses in Tissue Culture. JF Enders. FC Robbins; TH Weller. Reviews of infectious diseases, 1980 May-Jun; 2(3): 493-504 Located at 393 libraries.
Biographical memoirs. Vol. 60 National Academy of Sciences (U.S.); NetLibrary, Inc. Internet Resource Computer File. Washington, D.C. : National Academy Press, 1991. Located at 301 libraries.
John Franklin Enders: February 10, 1897-September 8, 1985. Thomas H Weller; Frederick C Robbins. Washington, D.C. : National Academy Press, 1991. Subjects: Enders, John Franklin, | Microbiologists -- Biography. Located at University of Chicago library, Chicago, IL.
Rok 1954. Nagroda dla Johna F. Endersa, Fredericka Ch. Robbinsa i Thomasa H. Wellera za odkrycie mozliwo̐ưsci wzrostu wirusa poliomeylitis na r̐ưoznych hodowlach tkankowych. K Sulek. Language: Polish. Publication: Wiadomo̐ưsci lekarskie (Warsaw, Poland : 1960) 1968 Dec 15; 21(24): 2301-3 Database: From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Located at 14 libraries, in the USA, Canada, UK and Poland.
Cultivation Of Poliomyelitis Virus In Cultures Of Human Foreskin And Embryonic Tissues. Thomas Huckle Weller; John F Enders; Frederick C Robbins; Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. New York, NY ©1949.Located at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.
Papers, 1960s-1970s. Thomas Huckle Weller. Archival Material. No libraries listed.
Perspective - Conquering Polio: Weller and Robbins. M L Lepow. The New England journal of medicine. 351, no. 15, (2004): 1483. Boston, Massachusetts Medical Society.Located at 2,625 libraries.
Suggested key words for additional publication searches: Harvard School of Public Health, infectious disease, virus, virology, poliomyelitis, Coxsackie viruses, herpes, varicella, schistosomiasis, Nobel Prize.