One of today's ASM Award Lectures was the Maurice Hilleman Merck Award, presented to Stanley A. Plotkin, Sanofi Pasteur, Doylestown, PA. Maurice Hilleman is known for having developed more than 40 vaccines and is credited with having saved more lives than any other scientist in the 20th century. A memorial video about Dr. Hilleman showed newspaper and magazine clippings morning his death, with accolades like, "if you have a child, you owe Maurice Hilleman a debt of thanks."
Dr. Plotkin presented "Vaccines: The Fourth Century," as his award lecture, in which he detailed the history of live and killed vaccines, from animal viruses in the 18th century; to physical attenuation and killed whole organisms in the 19th century; to passage in animal eggs, toxoids, extracts and passage in cell culture in the 20th century.
He then touched on a few of the newer techniques, mentioning the plethora of novel approaches, such as reverse genetics, reassortment, fusion proteins, DNA plasmids, gene delivery by invasive bacteria, adjuvants, transcriptomics, proteomics, DNS shuffling and induction of innate immunity.
Dr. Plotkin offered his predictions for four pathogens that we will see vaccines developed against in the next decade: CMV, dengue, meningococcus and tuberculosis.