Dr. Albert B. Sabin (1906-1993) holds a preeminent position in the history of twentieth century medicine. Throughout the world his is one of the most recognizable and revered names in the medical sciences.


Distinguished service professor of research pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and fellow of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Sabin developed the world’s first oral live-virus vaccine to be used in the battle against poliomyelitis.


He successfully first tested the vaccine on humans in 1954 and by the early 1960s, the continued achievements of his studies and vaccine trials eventually led the medical, and public health, community in the United States to switch from using the inactivated vaccine to Sabin’s live attenuated one. Much more effective and economical to produce, and easier to administer, the “Sabin Vaccine” soon became the world’s weapon against polio and effectively eradicated the virus around the globe.

Upon Dr. Sabin’s death in 1993, his wife Heloisa donated to the University of Cincinnati 400 feet of Dr. Sabin’s correspondence, laboratory materials, manuscripts, awards, medals, and numerous other documents pertaining to his career and medical research. His papers record both the development and testing of the oral polio vaccine, and the growth of virology as a discipline.


Exploring this interactive online exhibit dedicated to Dr. Sabin's life, and more specifically his career and medical research—you will find a biography and timeline, a rich archive of Sabin’s professional papers that include correspondence, military service documents, books, photographs, research slides and notebooks on poliomyelitis and other diseases, awards, Sabin’s academic history and published works, and much much more. In addition users will find links to those portions of the archival collection that have been digitized. We hope you enjoy this exploration of one of the twentieth century’s leading virologists.