The daughter of two accomplished biologists (her father won a Nobel Prize in 1933), Dr. Isabel Morgan was an early and important player in the race to find a polio vaccine. “Isabel Morgan is really one of the unsung heroes of the polio fight,” says author David Oshinsky. “She was a brilliant researcher.”
The Killer-Virus Vaccine
After earning a PhD in bacteriology, Morgan worked at the Rockefeller Institute for six years before moving to a top-notch lab at Johns Hopkins in 1944. There, with March of Dimes funding, her team strove to immunize monkeys against polio. At the time, most other prominent virologists believed a vaccine could only be achieved using a live virus, but Morgan thought otherwise. After five years of work, her team became the first to successfully inoculate monkeys with a killed-virus vaccine.
After the War
Dr. Morgan spent the following years as a homemaker and stepmother, also working for 11 years at the Westchester County Department of Laboratory Research. After her stepson died in a plane crash in 1960, Dr. Morgan earned a masters degree in biostatistics and consulted at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in New York City. She died in 1996.
“The important thing to remember about her is that the science of polio was the science of building blocks,” says Oshinsky. “It wasn’t just Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin… Other people did so much of the research that these two scientists built upon.”
A year in the life of Wyoming cowboys and the ranching families of the American West.
Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America.
The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family, including their stint in internment camps during World War II.
His stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Premiering May 1.
Native Alaskans, oil company representatives, environmentalists, politicians, and others tell the story of the 800-mile pipeline.
Accused by a janitor, a respected Harvard professor was hanged for the murder of Dr. George Parkman, one of Boston's richest citizens, in 1849.
Robert Moses fueled some of the most ambitious -- and controversial -- public works projects ever conceived.
From a small-town Texas murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.