Google Doodle pays tribute to Chickenpox vaccine pioneer Dr Michiaki Takahashi. In 1974, the first vaccine, Oka, was developed targeting the chickenpox-causing varicella virus. Google Doodle marks the 94th birthday of Dr Michiaki Takahashi. He was a Japanese virologist who developed the first vaccine against chickenpox. Featured by Japan-based guest artist Tatsuro Kiuchi, the doodle pays tribute to Dr Michiaki Takahashi’s extensive efforts in developing the vaccine.
Born in Tokyo in 1928, Dr Takahashi. He received his medical degree from Osaka University and joined the Microbial Diseases Research Institute in 1959. He studied measles and poliovirus and in 1963 received a research fellowship at Baylor College in the United States. During this time, his son contracted chickenpox, which led Japanese researchers to find a solution.
In 1974, the first vaccine, Oka, was developed targeting the chickenpox-causing varicella virus. The vaccine proved to be extremely effective. In 1986, the Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, developed the only varicella vaccine approved by the World Health Organization in Japan. The vaccine has been used in more than 80 countries and has been given to millions of children worldwide. In 1994, Dr Takahashi was appointed director of the Microbial Disease Study Group at Osaka University, a position he held until his retirement. Dr Michiaki Takahashi died of cardiac arrest in Osaka in 2013.