Google on Thursday, October 17, 2022, paid tribute to Japanese virologist Dr. Michiaki Takahashi on his 94th birthday, who developed the first vaccine against chickenpox.
Who is Michiaki Takahashi?
Michiaki Takahashi was a Japanese virologist best known for inventing the chickenpox vaccine. Michiaki was born on February 17, 1928, in Higashisumiyoshi-Ku, Osaka, Japan. He received his MD from Osaka University Medical School in 1954 and completed his undergraduate course in medical science in poxvirus virology in 1959.
In 1971, while he was studying in the United States, his eldest son Teruyuki contracted chickenpox. He could not tolerate the pain of his son. This is where he got the inspiration to eradicate chickenpox.
After much effort, the invention was completed in 1973. In 1984, the vaccine was recognized by the WHO as the world’s first and most suitable chickenpox vaccine, and in 1986 the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare approved it for practical use in countries around the world.
Google Doodle and other honors for Michiaki Takahashi
After his retirement from Osaka University, he was given the title of Professor Emeritus. He died of cardiac arrest on 16 December 2013. In honor of Takahashi, an annual award is presented by the Japanese Society for Vaccinology in his name: The Japanese Society for Vaccinology Takahashi Prize.
To honor him, Google has featured a doodle to celebrate Takahashi’s 94th birthday on February 17, 2022.
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