Maurice Ralph Hilleman
Saved More Lives than Any Other
Medical Scientist of the 20th Century
Maurice Ralph Hilleman (August 30, 1919 – April 11, 2005) was an American microbiologist who specialized in vaccinology and developed over 36 vaccines, more than any other scientist. Of the 14 vaccines routinely recommended in current vaccine schedules, he developed eight: those for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria.
Hilleman was also the first to identify how the influenza virus mutates, and he virtually single-handedly spearheaded creation of the vaccine that prevented the Asian flu outbreak of 1957 from becoming a repeat of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed 20 million people worldwide. He also created the world’s first licensed vaccine against a viral cancer, which blocked Marek’s disease, a lymphoma of chickens. The development revolutionized the poultry industry.