Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Table of Contents
Maurice Ralph Hilleman (1919–2005) was an American microbiologist who unlocked the secrets of immunology and went on to develop about 40 vaccines over six decades. He additionally invented eight of the fourteen vaccines used in routine vaccination schedules today.
See the fact file below for more information on the Maurice Hilleman or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Maurice Hilleman worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Maurice was born on August 30, 1919, in Miles City, Montana.
- Maurice was the eighth child born to Robert and Edith (Matson) Hilleman.
- His mother, however, did not survive his birth; neither did his twin sister.
- His father, Robert, overwhelmed by the prospect of raising such a large family alone, sent the children off to live on a nearby relative’s farm.
- He credited much of his success to his work with chickens on the farm as a boy.
- The farm served as his first laboratory, providing him with the basic learning that the fertile chicken eggs had often been used to grow viruses for vaccines since the 1930s.
- His family is associated with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
- In eighth grade, he discovered Charles Darwin and was caught reading On the Origin of Species in church.
- Later in life, he refused religion.
- Due to scarcity, he almost failed to attend college.
- In 1941, Hilleman graduated first in his class from Montana State University because his eldest brother intervened with family help and scholarships.
- Hilleman won a fellowship at the University of Chicago.
- In 1944, he received his doctoral degree in Microbiology after writing an award-winning thesis on the venereal disease chlamydia.
- Hilleman explained that these infections were, in fact, caused by a species of bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which grows only inside of cells.
- After having a job at E.R. Squibb & Sons (now Bristol-Myers Squibb), Hilleman produced a vaccine against Japanese B encephalitis, a disease that threatened American troops in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II.
- Hilleman worked as chief of the Department of Respiratory Diseases at the Army Medical Center (now the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research) from 1948 to 1957.
- From this, he discovered the genetic changes that occur when the influenza virus mutates, known as shift and drift.
- This discovery helped him to recognize that a 1957 outbreak of influenza in Hong Kong could become a huge pandemic.
- Working on a hunch, he and a colleague discovered that it was a new strain of flu that could kill millions.
- 40 million doses of vaccines were prepared and distributed.
- Although 69,000 Americans died, the pandemic might result in many more deaths in the United States.
- Hilleman received the Distinguished Service Medal from the American military for his work.
- In 1957, Hilleman joined Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, New Jersey) as the head of its new virus and cell biology research department in West Point, Pennsylvania.
- It was while with Merck that he Hilleman developed most of the forty experimental and licensed animal and human vaccines with which he is credited, working both at the laboratory bench and providing scientific leadership.
- In 1963, Jeryl Lynn, his daughter came down with the mumps.
- He cultivated material from her and used it as the basis of a mumps vaccine.
- The Jeryl Lynn strain of the mumps vaccine is still currently used, in the trivalent (measles, mumps, and rubella) MMR vaccine that he also developed. It is the first vaccine ever approved incorporating multiple live virus strains.
- Hilleman also produced vaccines for measles, rubella, bacterial meningitis, flu, and hepatitis B. In advanced countries, his vaccines have virtually wiped out many of these once-common childhood illnesses.
- In 1971, another breakthrough came when Merck published Hilleman’s new MMR vaccine, a one-shot injection that protects children from measles, mumps, and rubella.
- Another supreme achievement was Hilleman’s development of a vaccine for hepatitis B, a debilitating blood-borne virus. Because one complication of hepatitis B is hepatoma, a cancer of the liver cells, his vaccine was hailed as the first to prevent human cancer and hit the market in 1981.
- Aside from developing vaccines to annihilate human diseases, Hilleman also developed vaccines for the poultry industry. He introduced a vaccine for Marek’s disease in 1971, a virus that causes lymphoma in chickens, at one time causing millions of dollars in losses each year.
- In addition, Hilleman is attributed with co-discovering different viruses, including the hepatitis A virus and the rhinoviruses that cause colds.
LEFT THE MARKET
- Hilleman left the market when he retired from Merck in 1984.
- He continued office hours and consulted with national and international public health organizations. He remained working, believing vaccines for malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS were necessary.
- Hilleman was an adviser to the World Health Organization in his later life.
- At the time of his death in Philadelphia, at the age of 85, on April 11, 2005, Hilleman was an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
METHOD AND PERSONALITY
- Hilleman was modest in his claims and at the same time a forceful man.
- None of his works or discovered vaccines were named after him.
- He operated his laboratory like a military unit, and he was the one in authority. Unlike many scientists, he insisted on watching over all stages of a project, managing basic research, clinical research, and even development and production.
- After trials of the vaccine, Hilleman often popped into the manufacturing facility to ensure quality control.
Maurice Hilleman Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Maurice Hilleman across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Maurice Hilleman worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Maurice Ralph Hilleman (1919–2005) who was an American microbiologist who unlocked the secrets of immunology and went on to develop about 40 vaccines over six decades. He additionally invented eight of the fourteen vaccines used in routine vaccination schedules today.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Maurice Hilleman Facts
- Getting to Know
- Periods of History
- A-ha! Facts
- Related to Hilleman
- Deadly Viruses
- Hilleman Saves
- 8 Million a Year
- Pandemic Today
- Hilleman Poster
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Maurice Hilleman Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 29, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.