Albert Bruce Sabin was born in Bialystok Russia in 1906, emigrating with his family to New York in 1921 (age 15). Sabin began developing polio vaccines at the Rockefeller Institute and eventually supervised the worldwide distribution of those vaccines, gaining the appellation of the world’s foremost ”medical statesman”. In 1970 he was made the fourth president of the Weizmann Institute in Israel, following Zionist predecessors who fundamentally created the Israeli State. Under his tenure at the Weizmann, significant experimentation on the SV40 monkey virus contaminant (the transgenic agent) helped further the practice of recombinant DNA technology. He lived until 1993. The Sabin Vaccine Institute was created after his death, though A.B. had participated in its planning.
Sabin received an MD from NYU where his first cousin, Dr. Saul Krugman, was later to become the chief of Pediatrics. In 1935, Sabin joined the staff of the RIMR in NYC, staying through 1939 in Rockefeller employ. Simon Flexner retired as RIMR director in 1936, and Sabin is noted as then moving his laboratory from Princeton’s RIMR (or ‘DAP’, Dept. of Animal Pathology) to the Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati, having left NYC sometime after Flexner’s retirement. He’s on the record for not liking children. Similar to his peers at RIMR, Sabin had little-to-no-experience with patients. Simon Flexner had no experience as did many others who received a medical education before WWI – before the [Abraham] ”Flexner” reforms.
In 1947, Sabin proved that poliovirus was ‘causal’ in grippe (flu), a commonly thought misdiagnosis of polio as are other differential diagnoses which began ‘flu-like’. There was abundant confusion about properly diagnosing polio in the 1920s-1940s, however, funding from the March of Dimes which became available in 1938 was held to be significant diagnosing incentive for patient-care centers supported by NFIP largesse. Funding not spent on research was limited to acute paralysis care, accordingly, less than 1% of polio victims. Contrary to the criticism that polio occurrance was overplayed in the media, the manifestation of poliovirus in influenza suggests it was hugely underestimated.
Between 1956 and 1962, Sabin field -tested his OPV in Russia, Czechoslovakia and Cuba (Cuba’s communist revolution happened in 1959 ) and despite a lack of study-organization or analysis, the OPV was approved for general use in the US in 1962. A detailed timeline and account of all the traveling polio vaccine trials (and tribulations) appears in the “Polio Diplomacy” page [under construction]. Sabin’s roadshows preceeded his appointment to the presidency of the Weizmann Institute (1970-1972). Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk were both advisers to Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller during the 1976 Swine Flu vaccine campaign and publicly agreed on the imminence of a major pandemic, despite the appearance of an ongoing feud between them from vaccine-caused “provocation” polio.
Sabin is known for the Oral Polio Vaccine, a ‘live’ (undissolved) virus cocktail served on sugar cubes and candy.
Albert Sabin is buried in Arlington National Cemetery
Sylvia Tregillus, d.1966, 2 daughters
Jane Warner, divorced
1972, Heloisa Dunshee de Abranches
Krugman was Director of the AFEB Commission on Viral Infections
- Co-authored “Krugman’s Infectious Diseases of Children”
- Expert panelist for the World Health Organization, formulating vaccination policy
- Married Sylvia Stern, with 2 sons : Richard Stern, pediatrician, dean of Univ. Colorado School of Medicine; Scott Stern, pediatrician (Dartmouth) with a practice in Baltimore, MD
Possible relatives of Albert B. Sabin:
–Florence Rena Sabin of the Rockefeller Institute
–Charles H. Sabin, wealthy financier and chairman of Guaranty Trust, who married Pauline Morton
–”uncle Motel Kosow”, associated with the First National Bank of Chicago (not known, lack of evidence) but described by Sabin’s relatives who are looking for information