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Anna Mitus

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Anna Mitus
(dob - )
Born in
Year of Discovery: 1958

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Measles Virus Better Not Call Her “Chicken”!

Anna Mitus was a Research fellow at the Tumor Therapy Service of Children's Cancer Research Foundation, in Boston, when she joined John Enders' team. Enders had developed a way to culture viruses in the laboratory, and his team was now searching for a measles vaccine. The team began working on isolating the measles virus, which they'd collected from the infected eleven-year-old son of a colleague. After they successfully isolated the virus they began the arduous task of passaging the virus through human cells. Mitus, in collaboration with Milan V. Milovanovic and others, applied her expertise to show that cultures of the measles virus could be supported using the cells from the sac that protects human embryos (amnion). She then turned her attention to reproducing the virus in the embryos of chicks. Mitus' contributions were critical to the successful development of the live-virus vaccine-an accomplishment that Enders said was more satisfying, and more socially significant, than his previous Nobel Prize winning work on the poliomyelitis virus.

Measles is caused by a virus and is one of the most contagious diseases known. The virus normally grows in the cells lining the back of the throat and those lining the lungs. The first sign of infection is a high fever lasting one to seven days. During this initial stage the patient may develop multiple symptoms, including a runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks. A rash develops after several days, typically beginning on the face and upper neck, and then spreading to the hands and feet. Poorly nourished children are at an increased risk of contracting a severe case of measles, especially those who have a vitamin A deficiency or whose immune system is compromised. Childhood deaths are usually caused by the complications associated with measles, rather than by the disease itself. The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhea, ear infections and severe respiratory infections--such as pneumonia, which is the most common cause of death associated with measles. Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine for the past several decades, measles continues to be a leading cause of death among children in the developing world. It's estimated that 242,000 people, many of them children, died from measles in 2006. But, vaccination has played a major role, with an estimated 478 million children having received the measles vaccine between 2000 and 2006. As a result, there has been a significant reduction in estimated global measles deaths. Overall, global measles mortality decreased by 68% between 2000 and 2006, with the largest decreases occurring in Africa, where measles cases and deaths fell by 91%.
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Introduction by Tim Anderson


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Table of Contents

Introduction
Links to More Information About the Scientist
Key Insight
Key Experiment or Research
Key Contributors
Quotes by the Scientist
Quotes About the Scientist
Anecdotes
Similar Scientists
Fun Trivia About The Science
The Science Behind the Discovery
Personal Information
Science Discovery Timeline
Recommended Books About the Science
Books by the Scientist
Books About the Scientist
Awards
Major Academic Papers
Curriculum Vitae
Links to Science and Related Information on the Subject
Sources

 








Links to More About the Scientist & the Science

Biographical Memoirs, by the National Academy of Sciences, referencing Mitus:
http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6061&page=58

Measles
, by Griffin, referencing Mitus:



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Key Insight




Key Experiments or Research

 



Key Contributors

The Team
Explore other scientists who furthered this lifesaving advance.
Lifesavers: Measles Vaccine
John Enders
Revolutionized virology - did pivotal early polio vaccine work and developed the measles vaccine.
Thomas Peebles
Worked on isolating the measles virus.
Kevin McCarthy
Worked on inoculating monkeys with a passaged virus.
Milan Milovanovic
Worked on passaging the measles virus through human cells.
Samuel Katz
Worked transferring measles virus from hen's eggs into chick embryo cell cultures, & vaccine tests w/monkeys, children.
Ann Holloway
Was Enders' "most able technician and associate" in the search for a measles vaccine.
Maurice Hilleman
Reformulated Enders' vaccine, making it commercially available worldwide.




Quotes by the Scientist




Quotes About the Scientist




Anecdotes



 

Similar Scientists

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Women Science Heroes

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Mary Ellen Avery

Discovered the cause of Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Avery's discovery was crucial in the fight against the deadly children's disease Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

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Rachel Schneerson

Created vaccines to fight Hib disease

Schneerson's vaccines fought Hib disease, the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in young children.

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Ann Holloway

Helped John Enders develop the measles vaccine

Holloway was John Enders' "most able technician and associate" in the search for a measles vaccine.

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Anna Mitus

Helped John Enders develop the measles vaccine

Mitus' expertise was critical in the development of the measles vaccine.

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Grace Eldering

Developed the Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Vaccine

Eldering survived the deadly whooping cough disease at age five.

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Pearl Kendrick

Developed the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine

Kendrick was tenacious in her pursuit of a cure for whooping cough.

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Fun Trivia About the Science




The Science Behind the Discovery



Personal Information



Scientific Discovery Timeline




Recommended Books About the Science




Books by the Scientist




Books About the Scientist

 



Awards




Major Academic Papers Written by the Scientist



Curriculum Vitae



Links to Information on the Science





Sources/References