Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
Biography on Jonas Salk
By Garrett Hoover
Jonas Salk was born on October 28, 1914 in New York City. It was here four years later he asked himself why some of the kids on his street were crippled while he had two strong legs. Scientist still had not found a cure or vaccine for Polio, a crippling and sometimes deadly virus. Salk’s parents, like many, did all they could to keep their son from getting polio. As Salk grew older he excelled at academics and at the age of only twelve entered high school. After finding a newfound interest in science and having numerous talks with his parents he concluded he wanted to be a doctor. Practicing doctors made a greater amount of money but Salk wanted to be a research doctor; finding cures and answers to modern-day health issues was more important to him. In college, Salk studied different sciences and began experimenting with a variety of bacterium such as streptococcus. Shorty after moving to work at a lab in Woods Hollow, Massachusetts he met Donna Lindsay, an attractive, clever and brilliant young lady. They were engaged for a little over one year and then all within three days he graduated, got married and enrolled in the residency program at Mount Sinai. After working as a doctor for some years he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to work on finding a vaccine for the influenza virus. Eventually Salk and Dr. Francis were successful and discovered and administered an influenza vaccine for thousands of US Army recruits. In 1947 Salk got an exciting offer to work in his first independent lab in Pittsburg. Here he would join the fight against Polio. Salk formed a team of five brilliant scientists and began typing and researching the many different strains of the polio virus. He created a version of vaccine using killed polio viruses. Many scientists rejected this idea because it was not the traditional way to develop vaccinations. Salk worked to form a...
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