Christopher Andrewes; Doctor Who Researched Flu Virus

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Associated Press

Christopher Andrewes, 92, a prominent virologist who was on the team that discovered the influenza virus, died Saturday.

Andrewes began his career as a pathologist, starting with a post as an assistant resident physician at the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institution in New York, where he stayed for two years.

He decided to concentrate on virology, a field in which he spent nearly 40 years. In 1927, Andrewes joined the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council at Hampstead in North London. He worked with colleagues on the role of viruses in transmissible tumors in animals.


In 1933, in collaboration with Wilson Smith and Sir Patrick Laidlaw, Andrewes carried out the successful transmission of influenza to ferrets. From 1946 to 1960, the virologists strove to isolate the virus in the laboratory.

Shortly before Andrewes’ 1961 retirement, a team of which he was a member isolated several viruses from patients with colds. Andrewes had been deputy director of the National Institute for Medical Research from 1952 until 1961.