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Rachel Schneerson

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Rachel Schneerson
(dob - )
Born in
Year of Discovery: 1987, 1990
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schneerson_rachel_lasker300h

Image Courtesy: Lasker Foundation


Part of Team that Created Remarkable Hib Vaccine


Schneerson teamed with colleague John Robbins at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to develop the Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine. Hib is the bacterium that causes Hib disease, and most commonly manifests as bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be a devastatingly serious disease that typically strikes young children under the age of two. Since Schneerson and Robbins' successful development of the Hib vaccine, Hib disease has been virtually eradicated in the United States, with its incidence rate having fallen a remarkable 99 percent.

Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) disease is an invasive disease that primarily affects children under the age of five. This is because these children lack the natural antibodies that children over the age of five and adults have to fight against Hib. Hib is thought to be an airborne disease, spread through the respiratory droplets expelled during coughing and sneezing. The most common result of Hib is bacterial meningitis, although it can also cause epiglottitis (infection and swelling of the throat), pneumonia, arthritis, and other serious conditions. Meningitis causes fever, headaches, stiffness in the neck, vomiting and, in severe cases, seizures. Both meningitis and epiglottitis may result in death. Even when death is avoided, permanent brain damage occurs in about 30 percent of meningitis cases. The majority of cases of Hib-caused meningitis occur in children under two years of age. In 1980, prior to the introduction of the Hib vaccine, there were 20,000 cases of Hib reported in the United States. Today, Hib has been virtually eradicated from the U.S., with only 341 cases being reported between 1996 and 2000. Unfortunately, due to the lack of widespread vaccination, Hib continues to be a scourge in other areas of the world. It is estimated that Hib kills 400,000 children worldwide annually.

The first vaccine Schneerson and Robbins created was a pure polysaccharide vaccine. Polysaccharides are chains of sugars, and they form the shell of the Hib bacterium. Schneerson and Robbins found that this vaccine was capable of producing an immune response in older children and adults, but not in infants less than 18 months. They next developed a so-called conjugate vaccine, in which they joined the polysaccharide capsule with a protein that allows the infant's immune system to recognize the vaccine and produce antibodies against Hib. The first vaccine, for older children and adults, was approved for use in 1987. The second, for use with younger infants, was approved in 1990. Schneerson and Robbins' ingenuity has paid tremendous dividends, saving tens of thousands of young lives and preventing lifelong disability for many more.
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Introduction by Tim Anderson


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Table of Contents

Introduction
Links to More Information About the Scientist
Key Insight
Key Experiment or Research
Key Contributors
Quotes by the Scientist
Quotes About the Scientist
Anecdotes
Similar Scientists
Fun Trivia About The Science
The Science Behind the Discovery
Personal Information
Science Discovery Timeline
Recommended Books About the Science
Books by the Scientist
Books About the Scientist
Awards
Major Academic Papers
Curriculum Vitae
Links to Science and Related Information on the Subject
Sources

 








Links to More About the Scientist & the Science

Press release announcing Schneerson' receiving the Lasker Award:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/1996pres/960925.html

The Lasker Foundation profile of Schneerson's research:
http://www.laskerfoundation.org/awards/1996_c_description.htm

StopGettingSick.com article about Schneerson's research with Typhoid vaccine:
http://www.stopgettingsick.com/template.cfm-3045




Sliders & Images here




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Key Insight




Key Experiments or Research

 



Key Contributors

The Team
Explore other scientists who furthered this lifesaving advance.
Lifesavers: Hib Disease Vaccine
(Haemophilus influenza
type b)
David Smith
Hib disease in the U.S. has declined by 99 percent since the introduction of his Hib vaccine.
Porter Anderson
Hib disease in the U.S. has declined by 99 percent since the introduction of his Hib vaccine.
John Robbins
Made the breakthrough discovery that allowed the Hib vaccine to protect children under 18 months.





Quotes by the Scientist




Quotes About the Scientist




Anecdotes



 

Similar Scientists

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Women Science Heroes

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Mary Ellen Avery

Discovered the cause of Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Avery's discovery was crucial in the fight against the deadly children's disease Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

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Rachel Schneerson

Created vaccines to fight Hib disease

Schneerson's vaccines fought Hib disease, the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in young children.

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Ann Holloway

Helped John Enders develop the measles vaccine

Holloway was John Enders' "most able technician and associate" in the search for a measles vaccine.

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Anna Mitus

Helped John Enders develop the measles vaccine

Mitus' expertise was critical in the development of the measles vaccine.

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Grace Eldering

Developed the Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Vaccine

Eldering survived the deadly whooping cough disease at age five.

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Pearl Kendrick

Developed the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine

Kendrick was tenacious in her pursuit of a cure for whooping cough.

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Click the name on far right to jump to the scientist.  Click the image (or middle column name) to go to the scientist's page.

 



Fun Trivia About the Science




The Science Behind the Discovery



Personal Information



Scientific Discovery Timeline




Recommended Books About the Science




Books by the Scientist




Books About the Scientist

 



Awards




Major Academic Papers Written by the Scientist



Curriculum Vitae



Links to Information on the Science





Sources/References




 

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