Author Biographical Info

Dr. Melnick’s specialty was medical virology, with a focus on polioviruses. He was among the first to demonstrate that the polio virus invades the intestine of a host rather than the central nervous system. He was part of a team that developed thermostabilized live polio vaccine for areas that lacked deep-freeze storage. His research also determined that the Albert Sabin vaccine was safer for the nervous system than other vaccines. He showed that the polio virus could survive long-term in sewage and was mainly transmitted by fecal contamination, often through poorly-washed hands. Melnick’s team at Baylor performed research in the late 1960s that would later implicate herpes simplex and other viruses as the root cause of some forms of cervical cancer. Dr. Melnick was awarded honorary posts in Israel, for his contributions to controlling a polio outbreak in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in the 1980s, Bulgaria, China, Argentina, and Russia. He also served 30 years on the World Health Organization Expert Panel on Viral Diseases. He was the first American virologist elected to lifetime membership of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, and in 1958 was inducted into the Polio Hall of Fame. He authored over 1,000 items on virology and received numerous awards. Find out more at https://archives.library.tmc.edu/ms-015.

Publication Date

4-13-2013

Keywords

Poliomyelitis, Postpoliomyelitis syndrome, Epidemiology, correspondence, reprints

Abstract

Joseph Melnick, PhD papers contains correspondence and reprints that document the career of Dr. Melnick, who was a leading epidemiologist, best known for his research on polio. See more at MS 015.

Comments

No accruals are expected for this collection.

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