Polio killed or crippled millions of people, but successful polio vaccines were developed during the mid-1950s which have spared millions from paralysis or death, pushing polio to the verge of extinction. The development of polio vaccines is more than a great medical success; this is a gripping story that provides a window into the evolution of medical research during the last century.
Professor Gareth Williams is the Chair of the Jenner Trust. He qualified with Honours in Medicine and Pharmacology from Cambridge University in 1977 and trained in London and Geneva. He was Professor of Medicine in Liverpool, where he built up an internationally recognised research group in diabetes and obesity and then Dean of Medicine in Bristol, where he remains as Professor of Medicine and Lead for European Relations in the Faculty. He has written 200 scientific papers and has authored or edited over 20 books, including the prize-winning Textbook of Diabetes. In 2009, he wrote Angel of Death: the Story of Smallpox, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Wellcome Trust Book Prize. Gareth is a former President of the Anglo-French Medical Society and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Angers. His hobbies include playing music and writing fiction.