| Stanley Plotkin |
(scientist, Big Pharma/lobbyist)
|Born||12 May 1932|
|Alma mater||New York University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania|
|Interests|| • vaccine|
• Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
the “Godfather of Vaccines”
Stanley Alan Plotkin' is an American vaccine developer. He has been hugely influential on global vaccination practice and policy during his long Big Pharma-funded career. His book, Vaccines, is the medical system's standard reference on the subject.
When asked about his nickname, Plotkin smiles. “I think it’s ambiguous, since the Godfather was a criminal,” he says. “I wouldn’t [call myself that], but obviously, I can’t stop others.”
|Q: Have you ever used orphans to study experimental vaccines?
Dr. Plotkin: Yes.
Q. Have you ever used the mentally handicapped to study experimental vaccines?
Dr. Plotkin: (hesitant until his own writings were cited) Yes.
Q: Have you experimented on the children of mothers in prison or jail?
Dr. Plotkin: Yes.
Q. Did you do so in the Belgian Congo?
Dr. Plotkin: Yes.
Q. Did that experiment involve almost a million people?
Dr. Plotkin: Yes.
Early life and education
Plotkin was born and raised in New York City, the son of Jewish parents, Lee and Joseph Plotkin, who emigrated from England. He attended The Bronx High School of Science in New York City graduating in 1948. He then earned his bachelor's degree from New York University in 1952 and went on to earn his MD at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 1956. Plotkin received his GME from the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania in 1963.
Until 1991, he was Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor of Virology at the Wistar Institute, and at the same time, Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Plotkin has done consultancy work for Sanofi, Merck, Glaxo and Pfizer, and associated with Dynavax Technologies, MyMetics, Inovio, CureVac AG, SynVaccine, GeoVax Labs, GlycoVaxyn AG, Adjuvance Technologies, BioNet-Asia, Abcombi Biosciences, and Hookipa Biotech.
During his time at Wistar, Plotkin worked on several vaccines; chief among them are vaccines for rubella, rabies, rotavirus, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). He developed a vaccine for rubella, based upon the RA 27/3 strain of the virus (also developed by Plotkin using WI-38, a fetal-derived human cell line), which was released to the public in 1969. This vaccine led to the eradication of the disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005. Plotkin, working with Tadeusz Wiktor and Hilary Koprowski, produced a human vaccine for rabies during the 1960s and 1970s. This vaccine can be used as a preventive measure for people who have an increased risk of contracting rabies, as well as a treatment for those who have been exposed recently to the disease, preventing infection in nearly 100 percent of cases. Another vaccine that Plotkin co-developed, working with H. Fred Clark and Paul Offit, is for rotavirus. In 2006, the team's vaccine became part of the U.S. recommended vaccine schedule for babies. In the 1970s, Plotkin led the development of an experimental vaccine against CMV. This vaccine, developed using attenuated CMV, has yet to make it into commercial production.
Polio vaccine causing AIDS
In the 1998 book The River, Edward Hooper suggested that an experimental polio vaccine called CHAT, developed at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and Paul Osterrieth, Stanley Plotkin and Hilary Koprowski, initiated the Aids pandemic by introducing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) from the common chimpanzee into some of the million Africans who were given the vaccine between 1957 and 1960. Chimpanzee SIV is now widely recognised as the direct ancestor of the strain of HIV (HIV-1 Group M) that has caused approximately 99 per cent of infections to date. In Africa, CHAT vaccine was administered to a million people only in Belgian-ruled territories: the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) and the former UN trusteeship of Ruanda-Urundi (now Rwanda and Burundi).
The same towns and villages are also the epicentre of Group M-related Aids, twenty years later. The Laboratoire Médical de Stanleyville (LMS), which tested CHAT vaccine for safety and co-ordinated the early African vaccinations, was situated just a few miles from a chimpanzee colony, Lindi camp, which operated between 1956 and 1960.
Other positions held
- 1956: Internship, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital
- 1957: Officer, Epidemic Intelligence Service, United States Public Health Service
- 1959–1973: Instructor, then Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
- 1961: Resident, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- 1962–1963: Resident, Hospital for Sick Children London
- 1964: Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation scholar
- 1965–1972: Associate physician, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- 1972–1990: Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- 1974–1991: Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
- 1974–1991: Professor of Virology, Wistar Institute
- 1984–1986: President, Medical Staff, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- 1991–1998: Medical and Scientific Director Pasteur Merieux Connaught, Marnes-la-Coquette
- 2003: Professor Emeritus, Wistar Institute
- 2006: Professor Emeritus of Virology, University of Pennsylvania
- 2006: Executive Advisor, Sanofi Pasteur
- 2014: Senior Advisor, Global Virus Network
- Associate Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania
- Member, Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology
- Adjunct professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Scientific advisor, Mymetics
- 2017 Scientific advisor (and co-founder) of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
- Plotkin, Stanley A; Orenstein, Walter A (2004). Vaccines. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20170814211430/http://amp-vaccinology.org/team/stanley-plotkin%7Carchive-date=14 August 2017
- https://www.ft.com/content/5699ac84-dd87-11e6-86ac-f253db7791c6 quote=Billion-dollar programme aims to cut vaccine-development time from 12 years to one