On second september 2021, Google Doodle celebrated the 138th birthday of Polish inventor, doctor and immunologist Rudolf Wegel with an animated graphic. Rudolf Wegel is famous for creating the first effective vaccine against the epidemic typhus, one of the oldest and most contagious diseases.
In today’s special Google Doodle, Rudolf Weigel is seen holding a test tube in his gloved hand. On both sides of the walls are drawing of lice and a human body. The Google doodle features a Bunsen burner, a microscope, and a lab table with a beaker.
Who was Rudolf Weigl?
Rudolf Stefan Jan Weigl (Rudolf Stefan Jan Weigl, 2 September 1883 – 11 August 1957) was a Polish biologist, physician and inventor known for developing the first effective vaccine against the epidemic typhus. He was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1942 and 1948.
Wiggle developed a vaccine for typhus during the Holocaust and worked to save the lives of countless Jews by sheltering those suffering under the Nazis in occupied Poland.
“Body lice were known to carry the typhus-infecting bacteria Rickettsia prowazekii, so Weigl adapted the tiny insect into a laboratory specimen. His innovative research revealed how to use lice to propagate the deadly bacteria which he studied for decades with the hope of developing a vaccine. In 1936, Weigl’s vaccine successfully inoculated its first beneficiary. When Germany occupied Poland during the outbreak of the Second World War, Weigl was forced to open a vaccine production plant. He used the facility to hire friends and colleagues at risk of persecution under the new regime,” Google Doodle said on its page.
“Today, Weigl is widely lauded as a remarkable scientist and hero. His work has been honoured by not one but two Nobel Prize nominations. From studying a tiny louse to saving thousands of human lives, the impacts your tireless work had on the world are felt to this day—Happy Birthday, Rudolf Weigl,” Google Doodle says.