Meet Dr Michiaki Takashi Who Invented Chickenpox Vaccine
Who is Dr Michiaki Takashi
The first chickenpox vaccine was created by Michiaki Takahashi (Takahashi Michiaki, February 17, 1928 – December 16, 2013), a Japanese virologist. By creating v-Oka, a live-attenuated virus strain of the varicella zoster virus, he created the “Oka” vaccine.
On February 17, 1928, Takahashi was born in Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, Japan. He attended Osaka University’s Medical School and graduated in 1959 with a degree in medical science with a focus on poxvirus virology.
In the years 1963 to 1965, he attended the Fels Research Institute at Temple University in Philadelphia and Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.
In 1971, he started working on a chickenpox vaccine after seeing his oldest son, Teruyuki, contract the illness when he was studying in the United States.
Despite being quite challenging, the research was finished in 1973. The WHO validated the vaccine as the best effective chickenpox vaccine in 1984, and the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare approved its use in 1986.
In 1994, Takahashi was appointed director of the Microbial Disease Study Group at Osaka University. He received the rank of professor emeritus after leaving Osaka University.
On December 16, 2013, he passed away from heart failure.
The Japanese Society for Vaccinology Takahashi Prize was established in October 2005 and is awarded annually. It is named in Takahashi’s honor.
On his 94th birthday, February 17, 2022, Takahashi received recognition with a Google Doodle.
What is Google Doodle
A Google Doodle is a unique, momentary change to the Google logo that appears on the company’s homepages to honor special occasions, accomplishments, and illustrious historical personalities.
Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the first Google Doodle in 1998 to commemorate the long-running annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, and to inform users of their absence in case the servers went down. Susan Wojcicki, a former employee of early Marketing, led the creation of later Doodles, which included an extraterrestrial landing on Google and extra bespoke logos for significant holidays.
Prior to 2000, when Page and Brin asked public relations specialist Dennis Hwang to create a logo for Bastille Day, Google Doodles were created by an independent contractor. Since then, a group of workers known as “Doodlers” has coordinated and published.