Polioforever's Blog

Hilary Koprowski


Hilary Koprowski was born Dec.5 1916 in Warsaw, Poland. A musical prodigy, he entered a conservatory at age 12 but was encouraged toward science by his mother “Sonia, the first female graduate of a dental school in Russia” http://www.koprowski.net/documents/article.html. In 1938 he married Dr. Irena Koprowska; 1939 received an MD from Warsaw University and a music degree from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, and subsequently ‘fled’ the Nazis with his wife for Rio De Janeiro, Brazil where the Koprowskis worked for the Rockefeller Foundation to make yellow fever vaccine. In 1944, the Koprowskis immigrated to New York.

After WWII, H.K. worked for LeDerle (American Cyanimid), and was the first to give an oral polio vaccine to human patients in 1950. Koprowski traveled to the Congo and North Ireland to field test his OPV from 1957-59, and 1960-61. In 1957 he became the Director of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, until 1991 when he was fired “for administrative lapses”.  Polio researcher Janine Roberts writes that “Hilary Kowprowski reported in 1957 that the inhabitants of the Congo were 85% immune before they ever saw a dose of polio vaccine…Amazingly this didn’t stop Koprowski. He went on to uselessly administer to them hundreds of thousands of doses of his experimental vaccine” http://www.sparks-of-light.org/polio-cause.html

http://aidsorigins.com/content/view/24/31/ Edward Hooper (author of  ‘The River’) tells the story of Koprowski’s professional route with his OPV and the  implications that it was a cause of AIDS, published in a 1992 article written by Tom Curtis in Rolling Stone magazine which got them tangled in a lawsuit.  Hooper claims information obtained after his initial publication confirms the view of  (Koprowski) OPV-caused AIDS http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/dissent/documents/AIDS/Hooper03/Hooper03.pdf 

Hooper’s “OPV theory relates to a different polio vaccine [than SV-40]. It proposes that an experimental polio vaccine called CHAT, developed at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, initiated the Aids pandemic by introducing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) from the common chimpanzee into some of the million Africans who were given the vaccine between 1957 and 1960. Chimpanzee SIV is now widely recognised as the direct ancestor of the strain of HIV (HIV-1 Group M) that has caused approximately 99 per cent of infections to date. In Africa, CHAT vaccine was administered only in Belgian-ruled territories: the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) and the former UN trusteeship of Ruanda-Urundi (now Rwanda and Burundi). These are also the countries that represent the epicentre of Group M-related Aids. The Laboratoire Médical de Stanleyville (LMS), which tested CHAT vaccine for safety and co-ordinated the early African vaccinations, was situated just a few miles from a chimpanzee colony, Lindi camp, which operated between 1956 and 1960. During those years, more than five hundred chimps and pygmy chimps (bonobos) were sacrificed there, mostly in the course of the polio research.” http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n07/edward-hooper/aids-and-the-polio-vaccine

The “oldest known HIV sample [was] taken in 1959” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/aids/virus/origins.html [now also considered a discredited find]



Koprowski Vaccine OPV trials:

— assisted in Africa (1955, 1957) by Dr. Howard Binns

–assisted in Ireland by Dr. David Dane

Letchworth Village for the Feeble-minded and Epileptic became the first human testing ground for Koprowski’s OPV. http://www.opacity.us/site16_letchworth_village.htm


http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/23/6/1041   1959, Experiment with infants from one-day to 6 months old, administering ‘live’ polio ; Stanley A. Plotkin, Hilary Kowprowski, and Joseph Stokes Jr. (Stokes worked the gamma globulin trials with W.McD. Hammon in Provo and Houston, 1951-52)


In 1985, Koprowski and a Wistar assistant investigated an unprecedented outbreak of multiple sclerosis in Key West, Florida after local authorities determined it was probably contagious http://www.aegis.com/news/mh/1985/MH851104.html The victims were tested for AIDS which came up negative but presented another puzzle :  “Researchers have discovered a new virus in blood and brain fluids from victims of multiple sclerosis in Sweden and in Key West, Fla., and they say it is possible that the virus might be one cause of the unexplained disease. The virus, which has not been identified, is similar but not identical to HTLV-I, a virus that causes an unusual form of human leukemia, the researchers say.” http://www.nytimes.com/1985/11/08/us/researchers-study-of-multiple-sclerosis-links-it-to-new-virus.html?sec=health . AIDS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Epstein-Barr (herpesvirus) infection were all climaxing in the US at this time and showing a similar lack of immune T-cells in sufferers. The book ‘Osler’s Web’ by Hillary Johnson details the episodic events surrounding the rise of CFS and the marginalization endured by patients and investigators by the CDC.  Wistar’s chief CFS researcher, Elaine DeFreitas, had her career ruined by the ordeal. http://aboutmecfs.org/Rsrch/RetrovirusFirst.aspx


Koprowski, accomplished man of arts and letters who spoke 6 languages, also published short stories http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?ref=rss&d=95424



“When [Leonard] Hayflick returned to Philadelphia in the late 1950s, he found the Wistar to be a ‘ghostly’ place. It retained the nineteenth-century, naturalist feel of its founder, Isaac Wistar, whose ashes along with those of Philadelphia’s scientific elite, filled brass urns lining the entryway… Hayflick at first occupied an elegant, bay-widowed lab on the second floor which he later shared briefly with Stanley Plotkin, to whom he provided a critically important cell line for the development of a vaccine for rubella. Soon [Hayflick] ran a large cell culture facility..and became an expert in that arcane craft –the art of cultivating and maintaining living cultures of cells in glassware…
   “It is difficult to convey the heady atmosphere that prevailed at the Wistar in the late 1950s and early 1960s under Hilary Koprowski’s autocratic, energetic, and ambitious leadership. Koprowski, a flamboyant Polish-born biologist, was one of those larger-than-life figures who divided the world into friends and enemies and never forgot the list…[p20]. When Koprowski arrived in May 1957.. the Wistar ‘was a graveyard. It had the largest number of human and animal skeletons in the world.’ ..Under Koprowski the Wistar reinvented itself as one of the preeminent centers for the study of viruses at a time when the study of viruses was the most exciting (and, appropriately, the most swashbuckling) area of biological inquiry.
   ..”Koprowski [had] insinuated himself into the thick of the race to create a polio vaccine… Vaccine makers from Sharp and Dohme consulted closely with Wistar reseachers during the golden age of vaccine discovery. Everyone who was anyone in cutting-edge biology passed through. ‘When Hilary came to the Wistar,’ Hayflick recalled, ‘it was a magnet; it was a crossroads for the world’s cell culturists, cell biologists and virologists, so I got to meet everybody in sight there.’
   ..”To study viruses, you have to be able to grow them under controlled conditions; and since viruses can only replicate in living things, these conditions demand one fundamental ingredient: living cells. At first, virologists grew their viral cultures (including the viruses used to make human vaccines) in untidy tissues like monkey kidney cells, but this was less than optimal because animal tissues often harbored, unbeknownst to researchers, their own contaminating tribes of viruses. It fell to Hayflick as the Wistar’s chief cell culturist to find better cells…[p21]. But Hayflick wanted to do something more significant than simply provide the raw material for other people’s experiments, so he took up one of the most fashionable, and ill-fated, ideas of the 1950s: the notion that cancer was caused by viruses.
   ..”First, Hayflick had to figure out how to cultivate normal human cells, which in itself was tremendously difficult. Deranged cells, such as the famous HeLa line of cancer cells, sometimes grow like gangbusters in the lab [ https://polioforever.wordpress.com/immortal-cancer/  ] ; normal cells, by comparison, are exceedingly tough to grow. ..At that time, scientists were beginning to realize that even normal adult human tissue.. was an invisible bestiary, teeming with human viruses. But fetal tissue was pristine. ‘It was known that human fetuses were likely to be free of these garden-variety viruses, and that’s where I wanted to get my tissue,’ Hayflick said. ‘..surgical abortions were certainly conducted in this country at that time, and at [the University of Pennsylvania]. I did get tissues from Penn frequently.’ It was an international connection, however, that proved most useful. Sven Gard, a well-known personality in the polio field, was based at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm but had spent a sabbatical at the Wistar… ‘This fellow had worked in a lab across the hall from me,’ Hayflick said, ‘and through Hilary he said ‘well, we can get you all the fetal tissue you want from Stockholm. You know, we do this every day there and it’s all legal… we’ll set up a system.’ So we set up a system. And we got lots of stuff from Stockholm.’ [p22]
   “Hayflick’s lab at the Wistar became a semi-industrial operation. The cells from Sweden and from the hospital at Penn grew beautifully… So it became an unofficial business of sorts, keeping the virologists happy with a steady supply of clean, normal human cells.” [p24, Merchants of Immortality, 2003, by Stephen S. Hall]
” Hayflick and his collaborators (including Anthony Girardi from the Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research) started working with these cell strains to develop viral vaccines: a poliovirus vaccine was developed in the WI-1 cell strain in 1962. By this time, fifty HDCSs had been made… Hayflick himself became a vaccine developer for a polio vaccine and fought and won the legal right to hold a patent and profit from WI-38. Finally, Hayflick was one of the co-signers of a letter sent to President Bush in 2001 to support the destruction of human embryos that occurs in embryonic stem cell research” http://www.lifecanada.org/html/science/Vaccines/ABriefHistoryofHumanDiploidCellStrains.pdf

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