Courtesy of Julie Grahame of the Karsh Foundation
Virologist Jonas Salk was born in New York to parents from Russian-Jewish immigrant families. In 1947, he accepted an appointment at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where, working with the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, he launched his quest for a vaccine against polio, a virulent disease that primarily afflicted children. When news of his discovery of a vaccine was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a miracle worker. In 1960, he founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, a center for medical and scientific research. Salk spent his last years searching for a vaccine against AIDS.