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    Thursday, February 17, 2022

    Michiaki Takahashi: Google Celebrates Chickenpox Vaccine Inventor with Doodle

    On Thursday, Google unveiled the brand new Doodle search engine in honor of Dr. Michiaki Takahashi – the creator of the primary chickenpox vaccine.

    On his 94th birthday, Google Thursday paid tribute to Japanese Virologist Dr. Michiaki Takahashi, who developed the first vaccine against Chickenpox.

    Since its invention, Takahashi’s vaccine has been administered to millions of children around the world as an effective measure to prevent severe cases of the contagious viral disease and its transmission.

    Born in 1928 in Osaka, Japan, Michiaki Takahashi earned his medical degree from Osaka University and joined the Research Institute for Microbial Disease, Osaka University in 1959. After studying measles and polio viruses, Dr Takahashi accepted a research fellowship in 1963 at Baylor College in the United States. During this time, his son developed chickenpox, which made him turn his expertise into combating the highly transmissible disease.

    After returning to Japan in 1965, Dr.Takahashi began culturing live but weakened chickenpox viruses in animal and human tissue. In five years, the vaccine was ready for clinical trials. In 1974, Dr. Takahashi had developed the first vaccine targeting the varicella virus that causes chickenpox. It was subsequently subjected to rigorous research with immunosuppressed patients and was proven to be extremely effective.

    Takahashi’s vaccine was then used in over 80 countries. In 1994, he was appointed the director of Osaka University’s Microbial Disease Study Group—a position he held until his retirement. Thanks to his innovations, millions of cases of chickenpox are prevented each year.

    Today’s Doodle has been illustrated by Tokyo, Japan-based guest artist Tatsuro Kiuchi.

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