Albert Z. Kapikian, M.D.


Head, Epidemiology Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Kapikian is a physician, medical pioneer and viral diseases researcher, whose five-decade career has been marked by groundbreaking medical research contributions. He is considered the father of human gastroenteritis virus research. He is distinguished as the leader of the development of the first licensed rotavirus vaccine. He began studying the epidemiology and causes of various viral diseases in the 50s and used electron microscopy to discover and characterize viruses causing major diseases in humans. In 1972, he and colleagues identified the Norwalk virus, and he has gained recognition as “the father of human gastroenteritis virus research.” In 1973, he and two colleagues identified the virus that causes hepatitis A. At the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he led a nearly 25-year effort to develop an oral rotavirus vaccine that in 1998 became the first rotavirus vaccine licensed in the United States.