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Stanley Plotkin

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Name  Stanley Plotkin

Role  Physician
Stanley Plotkin Stanley Plotkin MD History of Vaccines

Stanley plotkin four centuries of vaccinology

Stanley A. Plotkin is an American physician who works as a consultant to vaccine manufacturers, such as Sanofi Pasteur, as well as biotechnology firms, non-profits and governments. In the 1960s, he played a pivotal role in discovery of a vaccine against rubella virus while working at Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. Plotkin was a member of Wistar’s active research faculty from 1960 to 1991. Today, in addition to his emeritus appointment at Wistar, he is emeritus professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. His book, "Vaccines", is the standard reference on the subject. He is an editor with Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, which is published by the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, D.C..


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Early life and education

Stanley Plotkin wwwiavireportorgPublishingImagesBack20Issues

The son of English immigrants, Lee and Joseph, Plotkin was born and raised in New York City, where he attended The Bronx High School of Science in New York City. While attending Bronx Science, at the age of 15, he read a pair of books that greatly influenced his future education and career choices: Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis and Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif. Deciding to dedicate his life to being a physician and research scientist, Plotkin graduated from Bronx Science in 1948. He then earned his bachelor's degree from New York University in 1952 and went on to earn his MD at Downstate Medical Center in 1956.

The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology

Stanley Plotkin Dr Stanley Plotkin 3948 In News for Rubella Eradication

During his time at Wistar, Plotkin worked on several vaccines; chief among them are vaccines for rubella, rabies, rotavirus, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). He developed a vaccine for rubella, based upon the RA 27/3 strain of the virus (also developed by Plotkin using WI-38 human fetal stem cells), which was released to the public in 1969. This vaccine lead to the eradication of the disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005. Plotkin, working with Tadeusz Wiktor and Hilary Koprowski, produced a human vaccine for rabies during the 1960s and 1970s. This vaccine can be used as a preventative measure for people who have an increased risk of contracting rabies, as well as a treatment for those who have been exposed recently to the disease, preventing infection in nearly 100 percent of cases. Another vaccine that Plotkin co-developed, working with H. Fred Clark and Paul Offit, is for rotavirus. In 2006, the team's vaccine became part of the U.S. recommended vaccine schedule for babies. In the 1970s, Plotkin lead the development of an experimental vaccine against CMV. This vaccine, developed using attenuated CMV, has yet to make it into commercial production.

Other positions held

  • 1956: Internship, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital
  • 1957: Officer, Epidemic Intelligence Service, United States Public Health Service
  • 1959-1973: Instructor, then Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1961: Resident, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • 1962-1963: Resident, Hospital for Sick Children London
  • 1964: Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation scholar
  • 1965-1972: Associate physician, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • 1972-1990: Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • 1974-1991: Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1974-1991: Professor of Virology, Wistar Institute
  • 1984-1986: President, Medical Staff, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • 1991-1998: Medical and Scientific Director Pasteur Merieux Connaught, Marnes-la-Coquette
  • 2003: Professor Emeritus, Wistar Institute
  • 2006: Professor Emeritus of Virology, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2006: Executive Advisor, Sanofi Pasteur
  • 2014: Senior Advisor, Global Virus Network
  • Associate Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Member, Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology
  • Adjunct professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Scientific advisor, Mymetics
  • Awards

  • 1987: James D. Bruce Memorial Award, American College of Physicians
  • 1993: Distinguished Physician Award, Pediatric Infectious Disease Society
  • 1995: Ed Nowakowski Senior Memorial Clinical Virology Award, Pan American Society for Clinical Virology
  • 1998: Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor Medal
  • 2002: Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal
  • 2005: Election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
  • 2009: Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement
  • 2013: Caspar Wistar Medal of Achievement
  • 2013-2014: Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence
  • 2014: Dr. Charles Mérieux Award for Achievement in Vaccinology and Immunology
  • Personal life

    Plotkin and his wife, Susan, have two children, Michael and Alec. In 1957, Plotkin wanted to join the US Air Force so that he could learn to fly, but instead he went to work for the Epidemic Intelligence Service. He eventually realized his dream of learning to fly at the age of 74.


    Stanley Plotkin Wikipedia