Paul A. Offit, M.D., to Discuss New Book at The Wistar Institute: VACCINATED One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases

Paul A. Offit, M.D., to Discuss New Book at The Wistar Institute: VACCINATED One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases

September 16, 2007

(PHILADELPHIA—September 17, 2007)—Internationally known vaccine expert Paul A. Offit, M.D., will discuss his new book, VACCINATED One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases on Tuesday, September 18, at 7 p.m. at The Wistar Institute.

The book presents two hundred years of vaccine history with a focus on the work of Maurice Hilleman, Ph.D., a microbiologist who specialized in vaccines. Hilleman developed more than 40 vaccines, including nine of the 14 on the schedule of vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In researching Hilleman’s accomplishments, Offit interviewed Hilleman extensively, as well as many other experts on vaccine development and public health. Hilleman’s vaccines, including those for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia, and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria, are estimated to have saved millions of lives. He received many honors for his contributions, including the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award and the National Medal of Science.

Offit is the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania medical school, and an adjunct professor at The Wistar Institute. Offit co-developed a rotavirus vaccine with H. Fred Clark, D.V.M., and Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D. at Wistar and CHOP that was approved for use in 2006 and since has been added to the recommended schedule of vaccines for children. He earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

Offit has also written The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis, Vaccines: What You Should Know, and Breaking the Antibiotic Habit. Vaccines sold almost 100,000 copies. He has published more then 120 articles about vaccine safety and rotavirus-specific immune responses.

The Joseph Fox Bookshop, an independent bookstore located at 1724 Sansom Street in Philadelphia, will provide books for sale at the Wistar event. VACCINATED One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases was published by HarperCollins on June 12, 2007.

The Wistar Author Series features general-interest books about science and medicine. The program is part of Wistar’s public outreach efforts, which aim to introduce the Institute and its research mission to a wider audience.

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research, with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the creation of the rubella vaccine that eradicated the disease in the U.S., rabies vaccines used worldwide, and a new rotavirus vaccine approved in 2006. Wistar scientists have also identified many cancer genes and developed monoclonal antibodies and other important research tools. Today, Wistar is home to eminent melanoma researchers and pioneering scientists working on experimental vaccines against flu, HIV, and other diseases. The Institute works actively to transfer its inventions to the commercial sector to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the web at www.wistar.org.

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