Irving Millman

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Irving Millman (May 23, 1923 – April 17, 2012) was a noted virologist and microbiologist. He was a member of the U.S. Army's Eighth Armored Division during the Second World War, earning a Bronze Star. In 1948, Millman earned a bachelor's degree from the City College of New York. He did his graduate work at the University of Kentucky and Northwestern University's School of Medicine. [1]

Virology study of viruses

Virology is the study of viruses – submicroscopic, parasitic particles of genetic material contained in a protein coat – and virus-like agents. It focuses on the following aspects of viruses: their structure, classification and evolution, their ways to infect and exploit host cells for reproduction, their interaction with host organism physiology and immunity, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their use in research and therapy. Virology is considered to be a subfield of microbiology or of medicine.

Microbiology study of microscopic organisms

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, those being unicellular, multicellular, or acellular. Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines including virology, parasitology, mycology and bacteriology.

City College of New York senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City

The City College of the City University of New York is a public senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City.

Millman's work with Baruch Blumberg helped lead to the creation of a test to detect hepatitis B. The test allowed blood banks to identify the hepatitis B virus in the blood of potential donors, thereby preventing the spread of the virus.

Hepatitis B human viral infection

Hepatitis B is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that affects the liver. It can cause both acute and chronic infections. Many people have no symptoms during the initial infection. Some develop a rapid onset of sickness with vomiting, yellowish skin, tiredness, dark urine and abdominal pain. Often these symptoms last a few weeks and rarely does the initial infection result in death. It may take 30 to 180 days for symptoms to begin. In those who get infected around the time of birth 90% develop chronic hepatitis B while less than 10% of those infected after the age of five do. Most of those with chronic disease have no symptoms; however, cirrhosis and liver cancer may eventually develop. These complications result in the death of 15 to 25% of those with chronic disease.

Later research by the team led to a vaccine that is now commonly given to neonates (newborns). [1] Millman and Blumberg found that the blood of individuals who carried the hepatitis B virus contained particles of the outside coating of the virus. The coating, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), is not infectious; however, HBsAG can provoke an immune response. In order to develop a vaccine, Millman and Blumberg developed a method of detaching the coatings from the virus. [2]

HBsAg surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus

HBsAg is the surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It indicates current hepatitis B infection.

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  1. 1 2 Donald G. McNeil, Jr., April 26, 2012, Irving Millman Dies at 88; Worked to Stop Hepatitis B, The New York Times.
  2. His Hepatitis B Vaccine Saves Over 6 Million Lives Accessed August 18, 2013