Dr. Michiaki Takahashi Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Google Doodle | Who was Dr. Michiaki Takahashi? Bio, Wiki

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Who was Dr. Michiaki Takahashi?

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi (February 17, 1928 – December 16, 2013) was a Japanese virologist, best known for inventing the first chickenpox vaccine and having attenuated the varicella zoster virus to produce the Oka vaccine.

Google Doodle Celebrates Chickenpox Vaccine Pioneer Dr. Michiaki Takahashi’s 94th Birthday

Google Doodle Celebrates Chickenpox Vaccine Pioneer Dr. Michiaki Takahashi's 94th Birthday
Google Doodle Celebrates Chickenpox Vaccine Pioneer Dr. Michiaki Takahashi’s 94th Birthday

A doodle on search giant Google’s homepage on February 17, 2022, has featured Japanese virologist Dr. Michiaki Takahashi, the developer of the world’s first vaccine against chickenpox, to commemorate his 94th birthday. 

The doodle, illustrated by Tatsuro Kiuchi, a Tokyo-based artist, depicts Dr Takahashi looking through his microscope, and putting a bandaid on a child’s arm. 

“Thanks to his innovations, millions of cases of chickenpox are prevented each year,” Google said in a note released with the doodle.

Who created the Doodle?

This Google Doodle was created by guest artist Tatsuro Kiuchi, according to information listed on the Doodle’s webpage. The artist had stated that he was unaware of Takahashi’s contribution when he was approached for creating the Doodle.

In a statement to Google, Kiuchi hoped that people would understand the underlying message of his Doodle that “vaccines might help overcome a disease and change the world”.

The Doodle commemorating Dr Michiaki Takahashi’s birth anniversary will be visible in about 80 countries, including India, United States, Brazil and Russia.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi Biography, Wiki

Dr. Takahashi was born on this day in 1928 in Japan’s Osaka. His chickenpox vaccine, named ‘Oka’, was developed in 1974 and subsequently approved by the World Health Organization. The lifesaving immunisation went on to be used by 80 countries and was administered to millions of children .

After earning a medical degree from the Osaka university, Dr Takahashi had joined the Research Institute for Microbial Disease at the same university in 1959, to study polio viruses and measles. 

In 1963, Dr. Takahashi accepted a research fellowship at Baylor College in the United States. It was during his time at the institute that his son developed a severe case of chickenpox, which led him to change the focus of his research, with the aim of developing a vaccine against the viral illness.

Returning to Japan in 1965, the virologist began culturing weakened, live strains of chickenpox. In 1974, he came up with the first vaccine against Varicella Virus, which causes the disease. The drug was subjected to a thorough trial process, involving immunosuppressed patients, eventually proving to be highly effective. 

The Research Foundation for Microbial Disease at Osaka University began rolling out the vaccine in 1986 in Japan. At the time, Dr. Takahashi’s was the only vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation, against Varicella virus. 

In 1994, Dr. Takahashi was appointed the director of the Microbial Disease study Group at Osaka University. He held this position until retirement. 

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi died in 2013 of a cardiac arrest.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi Biography Wikipedia
Dr. Michiaki Takahashi
BornFebruary 17, 1928
Yuzato, Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, Japan
DiedDecember 16, 2013 (aged 85)
Suita, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
EducationOsaka University, Baylor College of Medicine, Temple University
OccupationVirologist
Medical career
FieldMedicine
InstitutionsResearch Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University
Sub-specialtiesVirology
ResearchChickenpox
Notable worksVaricella vaccine

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi Career

Dr. Takahashi returned to Japan in 1965 and started experimenting with weakened chickenpox viruses in human and animal tissue. In 1974, the first vaccine targeting the varicella virus, which causes chickenpox, had been developed by Takahashi.

The chickenpox vaccine was subjected to rigorous research and trials, including with immunosuppressed patients. Nicknamed Oka, Takahashi’s vaccine was proven to be extremely effective in combating the highly contagious disease.

In 1986, the Osaka University’s Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases, where the Japanese virologist worked earlier, began rolling out the chickenpox vaccine in Japan as the only World Heath Organization approved varicella vaccine.

Soon more than 80 countries began using Dr. Takahashi’s lifesaving vaccine. In 1994, the virologist was appointed the director of Osaka University’s Microbial Disease Study Group—a post he held until his retirement.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi FAQ’s

Who was Michiaki Takahashi?

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi (February 17, 1928 – December 16, 2013) was a Japanese virologist, best known for inventing the first chickenpox vaccine and having attenuated the varicella zoster virus to produce the Oka vaccine.

How did Michiaki Takahashi die?

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi died in 2013 of a cardiac arrest.

Who developed Dr. Takahashi’s doodle?

This Google Doodle was created by guest artist Tatsuro Kiuchi, according to information listed on the Doodle’s webpage. The artist had stated that he was unaware of Takahashi’s contribution when he was approached for creating the Doodle.

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