The Life of Maurice Hilleman
Born in Miles City, Montana, USA, to Anna and Gustav Hilleman as their eighth child on August 19.
Attended Custer County High School and graduated although America was in the Great Depression.
Won a scholarship at Montana State University in Bozeman and graduated at the top of his class at 21.
Hilleman married Thelma Wilson, whom he had his daughter with, Jeryl Lynn. She would potentially help him create a crucial vaccine.
Hilleman graduated with a Ph.D. in Microbiology
HIlleman joined the Department of Respiratory Diseases at Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Hilleman joined his first pharmaceutical company, E.R. Squibb in New Jersey. HE also developed a vaccine against Japanese B Encephalitis.
Hilleman became the first person to identify a new strain of influenza first seen in Hong Kong which had potential to cause thousands of deaths. He mass produced a vaccine and 40 million doses were distributed among the U.S.
HIlleman discovered and characterized a new family of viruses, which are now known as adenoviruses.
His discovery that adenoviruses caused infections to the upper respiratory tract led to the development of an injectable vaccine against two different types of Adenovirus.
Hilleman's daughter, Jeryl Lynn came down with the mumps; he swabbed her throat for sample of the virus. The vaccine for mumps was officially licensed in 1967, which is a part of the standard MMR vaccine today and is given to about 95% of all children.
At the age of 38, Hilleman was recruited Merck and Co., a pharmaceutical company. He then moved to West Point, Pennsylvania, where he would lead virus and vaccination programs for the next 45 years.
While working on the polio vaccine, Hilleman uncovered that a cancer-causing virus, SV40, was present in the polio vaccine.
Developed a viable vaccine for measles. That year, Hilleman also isolated an inactive, non-infectious strain of the rubella virus.
Hilleman's findings of Sv40 caused Merck to remove its polio vaccine from the market- this led to the FDA establishing screening programs for other stray viruses in vaccines.
Hilleman remarried after the passing of his wife, Thelma Mason, and married Loraine Witmer, and had a daughter named Kirsten.
MMR vaccine was created, which was the first combined vaccine for all three of the Measles, Mumps, and rubella viruses.
The chicken pox vaccine was developed by Hilleman, a highly contagious viral infection that caused itchy skin blisters and fever.
Hilleman retired from Merck at the age of 65, but remained as a consultant to keep him involved in vaccine research.
Hilleman continued with the development and research of vaccines until his passing on April 11, 2005, at the age of 85 years old in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from cancer.