Marguerite Vogt, 94; did pioneering studies of polio and cancer

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Marguerite Vogt, 94, a pioneer in the fields of polio and cancer research, died July 6 in La Jolla. Vogt, who until recently worked at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, died of natural causes, said Walter Eckhart, who directs the institute’s cancer center.

Vogt was credited, along with Salk colleague Renato Dulbecco, with completing groundbreaking studies of how the polio virus forms plaques in cell cultures. Their work helped develop polio treatments.

They later explored how a type of tumor virus transforms ordinary cells into cancer cells. These studies provided some of the first clues to the genetic nature of cancer, and Dulbecco received a Nobel Prize for research that he completed with Vogt.

“She did much of the work, but she never got the recognition,” longtime collaborator Martin Haas told the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2002.


Vogt was born in Germany to two brain researchers and published her first scientific paper at age 14.

Her father directed the Kaiser Wilhelm/Max Planck medical research institute in Berlin but was forced out by the Nazis.

She immigrated to the United States in 1950, and joined Caltech before moving with Dulbecco to the Salk Institute in 1963.