Dr. Stanley Plotkin: The Godfather of Vaccines

Photo Credit: Dr. Stanley

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador and founder of Bioquark, interviews Dr. Stanley Plotkin, Professor Emeritus at both Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania and consultant to the vaccine industry.

Ira Pastor Comments:

So as we sit here a few months into the global Covid-19 pandemic, one big question on everyone’s mind is when will we see the first mass produced vaccine against this current strain, especially as it looks like in the United States there will be some loosening of quarantine / “shelter in place” rules to re-start the economy.

Dr. Stanley Plotkin

Dr. Stanley Plotkin, is an American physician, scientist, and scholar, in many circles referred to as “the Godfather of Vaccines”, who in the 1960s, while working at Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, played a pivotal role in discovery of a vaccine against Rubella virus (also known as German measles or three-day measles), which is now used worldwide (as a key component of the MMR vaccine — a combination vaccine also that protects against measles and mumps) and has worked extensively on the development and application of a wide range of other vaccines including polio, rabies, varicella, rotavirus and cytomegalovirus.

Dr. Plotkin graduated from New York University in 1952 and obtained a medical degree at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. He was a resident in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and at the Hospital for Sick Children in London.

Photo Credit: Dr. Stanley Plotkin

In 1957, Dr. Plotkin served in the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the U.S. Public Health Service for three years, and then served as a member of Wistar’s active research faculty from 1960 to 1991.

Today, in addition to his emeritus appointment at Wistar, he is also Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, and works as a consultant to vaccine manufacturers, such as Sanofi Pasteur, as well as biotechnology firms, non-profits and governments.

Dr. Plotkin’s book, Plotkin’s Vaccines remains the standard reference on the subject.

Dr. Plotkin is also an editor with Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, which is published by the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, D.C.

On this episode we will hear from Dr. Plotkin:

About his background; how he became interested in medicine, research, and how after joining Wistar (under the equally famous Dr. Hilary Koprowski), and working for a bit with Anthrax, how Rubella became a target of interest, His thoughts on Covid-19: how worried/concerned/optimistic he is about vaccine development. How with dozens of coronavirus vaccine candidates being developed, in various companies and organizations (including RNA vaccines, DNA vaccines, single protein vaccines, multiple protein vaccines, etc.) how a choice is made of which “to go with” once some are approved. About the requirement for a “perfect vaccine” with 100% coverage, versus less perfect vaccines that could get to market earlier. The topics of Plant BioTechnology, edible vaccines and the Anti-Vaccine movement.

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador

Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.

Follow Ira Pastor on Twitter: @IraSamuelPastor

If you liked this interview, be sure to check out our interview with Dr. Linfa Wang: Hunting Down Covid-19 and Other Deadly Diseases!

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