Choose another Topic

Return to People Introduction

Return to Georgia Science and Medicine

Rivers, Thomas Milton

Noted virologist Thomas M. Rivers was born in Jonesboro, Georgia on September 3,, 1888. In the 1920s, his research established that viruses were different from bacteria, leading to the establishment of virology as a distinct area of scientific study. As a result of his pioneering studies, Rivers has been called the “father of modern virology.” From 1938 to 1955, he chaired the virus research committee of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (which became the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation). Rivers helped organized the research program that resulted in the Salk and Sabin vaccines against polio. Rivers died in New York City on May 12, 1962.

Rivers, Thomas Milton View large image

Source: Rivers' Bust in the Polio Hall of Fame at the Warm Springs Rehabilitation Institute at Warm Springs, Georgia, Photo by Ed Jackson