Dr Michiaki Takahashi’s 94th Birthday : Google Doodle Celebrates Dr Michiaki Takahashi Birthday

Dr Michiaki Takahashi’s 94th Birthday : Google Doodle Celebrates Dr Michiaki Takahashi Birthday

Michiaki Takahashi (Takahashi Michiaki, 1928 – December 16, 2013) was a Japanese virologist, known for having attenuated the varicella zoster virus to produce the Oka vaccine strain of live, attenuated varicella vaccine.

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Takahashi earned his MD in 1954 from Osaka University’s Medical School, and completed in 1959 the Graduate Course of Medical Science, majoring in poxvirus virology. Between 1963 and 1965 he studied at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, and at the Fels Research Institute of Temple University, in Pennsylvania.

After retirement from Osaka University, he was given the title professor emeritus

He died on December 16, 2013 from heart failure.

Awards

  • VZVRF’s third Scientific Achievement Award (1997)
  • Prince Mahidol Award (2008)

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Honors

There is a prize called in his honor: The Japanese Society for Vaccinology Takahashi Prize, founded in October 2005.

Google showed Doodle on February 17, 2022, to celebrate 94th Birthday of Dr. Michiaki Takahashi.

Dr Michiaki Takahashi’s 94th birthday

Tatsuro Kiuchi, a guest artist from Tokyo, Japan, created today’s Doodle in honour of Dr. Michiaki Takahashi, a Japanese virologist who developed the first vaccine against chickenpox. There have been many millions of children around the world who have received Takahashi’s vaccine, and it has been very successful in preventing serious cases of this contagious viral disease and its transmission.

Dr Michiaki Takahashi's 94th birthday

On this day in 1928, Osaka, Japan, saw the birth of Michiaki Takahashi. After graduating from Osaka University with a medical degree in 1959, he joined the Osaka University Research Institute for Microbial Diseases. Baylor College in Texas accepted Dr. Takahashi’s research fellowship after he completed studies on measles and polio. When his son developed a severe case of chickenpox during this period, he decided to devote his expertise to fighting the highly contagious disease.

In 1965, Dr. Takahashi returned to Japan and began culturing chickenpox viruses in animal and human tissue that were still alive but had been weakened. For clinical trials, it took just five years of development. Vaccines against chickenpox were first developed by Dr. Takahashi back in 1974. It was tested extensively on immunocompromised patients and found to be highly effective. This vaccine was developed by Osaka University in 1986 and is the only varicella vaccine that has received World Health Organization (WHO) approval.

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Over 80 countries have now used Dr. Takahashi’s life-saving vaccine. While at Osaka University, he was named director of the Microbial Disease Study Group in 1994 and held that position until his retirement. Each year, millions of cases of chickenpox are avoided thanks to his breakthroughs in the field of vaccine development.

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