a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Worldwide production of vaccines using the WI-38 cell strain


Drago Ikić promotes the use of human cell culture
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

There were multiple events now occurring simultaneously. A crucial one was that the use of the cells became of interest to a Yugoslavian virologist by the name of Drago Ikić who ran an institute on immunology in Zagreb. Ikić was a significant figure because he became so convinced that the use of these cells would replace primary monkey kidney and other primary cell populations, like primary chick cell populations also used for some vaccine production, that he took it upon himself to promote this idea internationally.

And one of the first things he did, which was critically important, was to organise a conference in a resort town in Yugoslavia called Opatija, O-P-A-T-I-J-A, I believe. And that was a very important and, to some extent, famous meeting in respect to all the events that occurred subsequently. At the Opatija meeting, to whom were invited leading world figures in cell culture, including Charles Pomerat, Harry Eagle, several others whose names escape me at the moment, major figures in the field of virology, all assembled by Drago Ikić to create an atmosphere of acceptance for these... for the cells.

And he essentially achieved that result at that meeting, which is why it was so significant. There were vaccine manufacturer representatives there who saw the future that included the use of these cells and so, that also underlined the importance of that conference.

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: Opatija, Drago Ikić

Duration: 2 minutes, 11 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012