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Human adult cell replication lower than fetal cell replication


Frank Perkins
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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So, as the years... as time went by and respect to a continuation of this vaccine issue, I should mention my relationship with Frank Perkins, which was key to many of the subsequent events.

Frank Perkins was known to Hilary Koprowski because Frank obviously was working with vaccines, as was Hilary. And after Frank learned of my publication and the suggestion that the cells be used for vaccine production, arranged on one of his visits to Philadelphia to have... to meet me, which he did do. We immediately were attracted to each other's personality; he was a feisty fellow, a Welshman whose beliefs and attitudes towards people and science I thought was very humorous and insightful. And we struck a relationship, a friendship that lasted until his death about ten years ago.

So Frank and I became very close, and because of his capacity as the head of vaccine approval in the UK and his connections worldwide with his counterparts, he was an essential component in this vaccine story. Frank did some initial training with Roderick Murray at the Division of Biologic Standards; I think he was there for about four or six months learning what the... what the DBS procedures were before bringing them to the UK. And he resented terribly anyone saying that he was the Roderick Murray of England. Rod Murray was his complete opposite in personality; a rigid conservative, whereas, Frank was a very outgoing and outspoken person. So, that relationship with Frank was key and I have a huge correspondence file with wonderful letters exchanged between the two of us about the various personalities in the field and other technical considerations. 

Leonard Hayflick (b. 1928), the recipient of several research prizes and awards, including the 1991 Sandoz Prize for Gerontological Research, is known for his research in cell biology, virus vaccine development, and mycoplasmology. He also has studied the ageing process for more than thirty years. Hayflick is known for discovering that human cells divide for a limited number of times in vitro (refuting the contention by Alexis Carrel that normal body cells are immortal), which is known as the Hayflick limit, as well as developing the first normal human diploid cell strains for studies on human ageing and for research use throughout the world. He also made the first oral polio vaccine produced in a continuously propogated cell strain - work which contributed to significant virus vaccine development.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Division of Biological Standards, Frank Perkins, Hilary Koprowski, Rodderick Murray

Duration: 2 minutes, 37 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012