Albert Kapikian

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Albert Kapikian
Ruth Bishop, Tom Flewett and Al Kapikian, in 1980.
Born (1930-05-09)May 9, 1930
Died February 24, 2014(2014-02-24) (aged 83)
Nationality Armenian American
Fields Virology
Alma mater Cornell University (B.S, M.D)
Notable awards Sabin Gold Medal (2005)

Albert Z. Kapikian (1930 – 2014) was an Armenian-American virologist who developed the first licensed vaccine against rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhea in infants.[1][2] He was awarded the Sabin Gold Medal for his pioneering work on the vaccine. He is the 13th recipient of this recognition, awarded annually by the Sabin Vaccine Institute.[3][4] Called the father of human gastroenteritis virus research, Kapikian identified the first norovirus, initially called Norwalk virus, in 1972; and he and his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health identified the hepatitis A virus in 1973.[5]

Kapikian graduated from Cornell Medical College in 1956 and began a career with the National Institutes of Health in 1957.[citation needed] He was chief of the epidemiology section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a position he held for 45 years. In 1998 he was appointed Deputy Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.[6][7]

Kapikian died on February 24, 2014, at the age of 83.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Kapikian and Szeto Receive Alumni Awards". Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  2. ^ CDC
  3. ^ NIH news
  4. ^ HAROLD M. SCHMECK Jr. (13 January 1981). "IMAGINATIVE RESEARCHER WAGES 30-YEAR WAR AGAINST VIRUSES". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Albert Z. Kapikian, M.D.". Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "AAM Welcomes Eight NIH Scientists". Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  8. ^ NIH Mourns the Death of Albert Kapikian
  9. ^ Morens, David M.; Fauci, Anthony S. (2015). "In Memoriam: Albert Z. Kapikian, MD, 1930–2014". J Infect Dis. 211 (8): 1199–1201. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiv034.