Thomas Milton Rivers
|Thomas Milton Rivers|
Thomas M. Rivers' bust in the Polio Hall of Fame
|Born||September 3, 1888
|Died||May 12, 1962
Forest Hills, New York
|Residence||Forest Hills, New York|
|Alma mater||Emory College|
|Known for||first description of the Haemophilus parainfluenzae|
Born in Jonesboro, Georgia, he graduated from Emory College in 1909 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Immediately following graduation, Rivers was admitted to the Johns Hopkins Medical School. His plans of becoming a physician could not be realized at first as he was diagnosed with a neuromuscular degeneration which forced him to leave medical school and work as a laboratory assistant at a hospital in the Panama Canal Zone. When by 1912 the illness had not become worse he returned to Johns Hopkins and graduated in 1915. He stayed at Johns Hopkins until 1919.
In March 1922 he headed the infectious disease ward at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and became the institute's director in June 1937. After retiring in 1956, he remained active with the Rockefeller Foundation. His work in the 1930s and 1940s contributed to making the institute a leader in viral research. In 1934 Rivers was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in section 10 (pathology and microbiology). As chairman of committees on research and vaccine advisory for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, he oversaw the clinical trials of Jonas Salk's vaccine. He served in the armed forces medical corps during both World Wars. During the Second World War, Rivers led the Naval Medical Research Unit in the South Pacific, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral.
- Saul Benison: Tom Rivers - Reflections on a Life in Medicine and Science, Cambridge, Mass., 1967
- David Oshinsky: Polio: An American Story. Oxford University Press, 2005 ISBN 0-19-515294-8.
- Horsfall, F L (1965). "Thomas Milton Rivers, September 3, 1888-May 12, 1962". Biographical memoirs. National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) 38: 263–94. PMID 11615452.
- SHOPE, R E (September 1962). "Thomas Milton Ribers 1888–1962". J. Bacteriol. 84 (3): 385–8. PMC 277887. PMID 13988655.
- Thomas M. Rivers Papers at the American Philosophical Society