Heloisa Sabin

At the Albert Sabin memorial at Children's Hospital, 2010. Courtesy of the Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Heloisa Sabin at the Albert B, Sabin memorial at Children’s Hospital, 2010. Courtesy of the Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Heloisa Sabin

1917-2016

The Winkler Center was saddened to hear of the passing recently of Heloisa Sabin.  Born, Heloisa Dunshee de Abranches, she married famous medical researcher and developer of the oral polio vaccine, Albert B. Sabin, in 1972.

Before her marriage to Dr. Sabin, she was women’s editor of a family-owned newspaper, Jornal do Brasil, in Rio de Janerio where she worked for 16 years.  The Jornal was the largest daily newspaper in Rio at the time.  She also studied at Columbia University in New York and held a law degree.

Asked what it was like being the wife of the famous research professor and virologist, “exciting,” she said. “I thought he was fascinating before I met him and I still think he is.” “Life with Dr. Sabin is certainly different from any other kind of life I could lead,” Mrs. Sabin asserted. “We are traveling all the time and I get to meet a lot of people who really enrich my life. Not only do we travel in the United States but we also travel in Europe and other countries where my husband has speaking engagements.” The Sabins not only traveled to numerous locales, but also resided at various times in New York, Washington D.C., Charleston, SC, Switzerland and Israel.

Heloisa became a steward of the Sabin legacy and a tireless activist in later life.  Upon Albert Sabin’s death in 1993, she spent a majority of her time speaking out and fundraising to continue her late husband’s work in the study and improvement of immunizations, specifically in regard to Polio.  In addition, she became a strong proponent of the use of animals in medical research, as the Polio vaccine her husband developed would not have been so successful had it not been for data gleaned from animal testing.   She was a founding member of the Albert Sabin Research Institute, which advocates for global immunization to end all vaccine-preventable diseases.

She visited UC frequently, promoting ways to memorialize her husband’s accomplishments in the place where they occurred.  Working with administration of what was then the Cincinnati Medical Heritage Center (now the Winker Center), she saw to it that Albert B. Sabin’s professional and personal papers came here in 1993.

In addition to her meaningful charitable contributions to the University, Mrs. Sabin played a role in the naming of the Children’s Hospital Sabin Center, Albert Sabin Way, and the Hauck Center for the Albert Sabin Archives. She also influenced the development of the Sabin exhibit in the Vontz Center and the Ohio Historical Marker dedicated to Sabin at the Vontz’s entrance.

The Winkler Center will miss Heloisa as will all those whose lives she touched.

If you are interested in researching the Sabin collection at the Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, please call 513.558.5120 or email chhp@ucmeil.uc.edu. To view an online inventory of the Albert B. Sabin Papers please visit Winkler-Albert B. Sabin Papers.

Works Used

Hembree, Linda.  “Life with Noted Researcher Fascinating.”  Spartanburg Herald (Spartanburg, SC).  Wednesday, 3 December 1975.  P. B3.

Marine, Steve.  Correspondence with UC Foundation, Donor Files, Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati,

Heloisa Sabin greets visitors at the 50th Anniversary of Sabin Sundays in 2010. Courtesy of the Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Heloisa Sabin greets visitors at the 50th Anniversary of Sabin Sundays in 2010. Courtesy of the Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sabin with Executive Director of the Winkler Center, Steve Marine, at the 50th Anniversary of Sabin Sundays, 2010. Courtesy of the Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sabin with Executive Director of the Winkler Center, Steve Marine, at the 50th Anniversary of Sabin Sundays, 2010. Courtesy of the Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

 

 

Accounting for an Historic Text: A Census of Andreas Vesalius’s Fabrica

The following article first appeared in Source, UC Libraries newsletter.

Andreas Vesalius

Andreas Vesalius

The life of a book can be as interesting and long lasting as the contents within. Such is the tale of the historic text The Fabric of the Human Body by anatomist Andreas Vesalius. Recently, Dr. Stephen N. Joffe, a retired UC professor of surgery and medicine, and Veronica Buchanan, archivist in the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of Medicine, embarked on a project to account for the locations in the United States of both the first (1543) and second editions (1555) of this seminal work whose author was among the first to accurately depict the human body and to illustrate anatomy in a visual way. Continue reading

Digitized Correspondence and Photographs of Albert B. Sabin Available on the Web

sabin1The University of Cincinnati Libraries have completed a  three-year project to digitize the correspondence and photographs of Albert B. Sabin,  developer of the oral polio vaccine and distinguished service professor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Research Foundation from 1939-1969.

The collection is freely and publicly available via the Albert  B. Sabin website at http://sabin.uc.edu/ and includes approximately 35,000 letters and accompanying documents totaling 50,000 pages of correspondence between Sabin and political, cultural, social, and scientific leaders around the world. Also included are nearly 1,000 photographs documenting the events and activities worldwide that were part of Sabin’s crusade to eradicate polio. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: The Microbe Hunter

By Jeff O’Flynn, Sabin Project Student Assistant

[Sabin Archivist’s Note: This week features the first blog post on the Sabin project from Jeff O’Flynn, one of our new student assistants. Jeff is pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He will be blogging on different Sabin-related topics as we work on the project. Please give Jeff a warm welcome by reading his posts! -SB]

The first assignment I handled when I started at the Sabin Archive nearly a month ago was to inventory a recent acquisition. Mrs. Sabin and her son sent us another large shipment of documents, photographs, awards, videos, and almost everything else imaginable. Sifting through these items served as my introduction to Albert B. Sabin’s life and legacy. This donation offered insight mainly into his later years and his posthumous honors with nearly all the items dating from 1970 forward. I learned many interesting things as I sorted through hundreds of fascinating items and I will share some of the most memorable items on this blog. First, I want to highlight an essay Dr. Sabin wrote in 1992 as an introduction to Paul de Kruif’s “Microbe Hunters” which influenced his life greatly. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: The Personal Side of Dr. Sabin

By Richard Jason Sookoor, Sabin Project Student Assistant

Dr. and Mrs. Sabin feeding deer at a temple in Japan.

I’ve been working with the Sabin Archives for a little over three months now and am still somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of material Dr. Sabin accumulated during his long career. So when we recently received a shipment of even more materials from Mrs. Sabin and her son, I was rather surprised. Not simply because there were items we didn’t have – because judging by where we store our archival collections, it seems we have everything Dr. Sabin ever touched – but because of the amount we received. Looking over the boxes, it’s hard to imagine how one person could amass this amount of materials. Dr. Sabin kept himself quite busy, it seems. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: The Evolution of Facial Hair

By Mary Kroeger Vuyk, Sabin Project Student Assistant

[Sabin Archivist’s Note: This week features the first blog post on the Sabin project from Mary Kroeger Vuyk, one of our new student assistants. Mary is pursuing a Master of Library Science degree from Clarion University. Previously she has worked in the Winkler Center as an intern, processing the UC Public Relations Collection. She will be blogging on different Sabin-related topics as we work on the project. Please give Mary a warm welcome by reading her posts! -SB]

While rearranging several photos albums as part of the Albert B. Sabin digitization project, I ran across the Certificate of Citizenship for a very young Albert Sabin. This certificate reveals that the 23 year old Albert Sabin gained United States Citizenship on April 15, 1930.[1] While the certificate shows other important information about Dr. Sabin, such his height, weight, address, and marital status at the time of naturalization, a photo on the certificate also reveals another interesting detail – Albert Sabin was into facial hair. But, as I continued to look through the photos, I realized that as Dr. Sabin changed, so did his whiskers. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: The Case of William Brebner

A 1969 letter from Professor Ernest Borek to Dr. Albert Sabin, which is quoted below.

Throughout the redaction process, I have been asked by many people how we select what should be removed from letters and other documents prior to publication of the materials online. It’s quite a complicated process! A way to approach this question is to discuss things we typically would not remove from letters. One illustration of this concept is through the case of Dr. Sabin’s colleague, Dr. William Brebner.

First, a bit of explanation, just in case you are unfamiliar with the Sabin project. As an archivist, it is part of my “Code of Ethics” to follow principles of “Access and Use” and “Privacy.”[1] Because of the nature of the materials within Sabin project, these principles can come into conflict with each other. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: A Look at Local Commemorations

By Richard Jason Sookoor, Sabin Student Assistant

Dr. Sabin receiving the award for Outstanding Cincinnatian in 1963.

This is the last week of August and thus marks the finale of our Awards and Honors series. For our final post, we will take a look at how the Cincinnati community has honored Dr. Sabin. For roughly thirty years, Dr. Sabin resided in Cincinnati and continued research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital while occasionally teaching at the University of Cincinnati. During this time, he also participated in local community affairs and was often honored for his accomplishments. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Happy Birthday, Dr. Sabin!

Sabin student assistant Richard Jason Sookoor is seen here browsing through one of the many binders the Winkler Center recently received from Mrs. Heloisa Sabin.

The Hauck Center for the Albert B. Sabin Archives recently received several large boxes full of letters, photographs and realia from Mrs. Heloisa Sabin, which adds to the over 400 linear feet that is already in the collection. It was quite serendipitous that the material arrived at the Winkler Center just a couple days before Dr. Sabin’s birthday on August 26. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: A Celebration of the Achievements of Dr. Sabin, Part II

By Richard Jason Sookoor, Sabin Student Assistant

Gold Medal awarded to Dr. Sabin by the Robert Koch Foundation

For the month of August, we will continue our series on the Awards and Honors Dr. Sabin received during his lifetime. This week we take a look at arguably Dr. Sabin most influential achievement: the live, oral polio vaccine. Or rather, we observe the accolades Dr. Sabin received for developing the vaccine. Despite the development of previous polio vaccines, Dr. Sabin’s vaccine was ultimately chosen for worldwide distribution after large scale clinical trials were performed. Not only did this help lead to the eradication of polio in the Western and developing world, but it also helped pave the way for the molding the public perception regarding the importance of vaccination. Continue reading

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