Edward Jenner : Father of Immunology

Also Known as “Father of Immunology”, Edward Anthony Jenner was an English researcher and is popular for his discovery of smallpox antibody. This was the principal fruitful antibody ever to be created and remains the main compelling preventive treatment for the deadly smallpox disease. His disclosure was a gigantic medicinal achievement and has spared incalculable lives. In 1980, the World Health Organization announced smallpox as an eliminated Disease

CHT163338 Portrait of Edward Jenner (1749-1823) (oil on canvas) by Meynier, Charles (1768-1832) oil on canvas Musee Pasteur, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France Archives Charmet French, out of copyright

Quick facts

FULL NAME :  Edward Anthony Jenner

FAMOUS AS : Physicians


BORN ON : 17 May 1749 AD

BIRTHDAY : 17th May


SUN SIGN : Taurus


DIED ON : 26 January 1823 AD


EDUCATION : St George’s Hospital, 1792 – University of St Andrews

Major Works

Jenner turned into a world renowned doctor through his invention of the vaccine to eradicate smallpox. He apparently scraped the pus formed on the bodies of people infected with Cowpox and injected it in the body of his gardener’s son. Although the boy suffered from fever initially, he became immune to Smallpox.

Early Life and Carrier

Edward Anthony Jenner was born on 17 May 1749  in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, as the eighth of nine children. His father, the Reverend Stephen Jenner, was the vicar of Berkeley, so Jenner received a strong basic education. He went to school in Wotton-under-Edge and Cirencester. During this time, he was inoculated for smallpox, which had a lifelong effect upon his general health. At the age of 14, he was apprenticed for seven years to Mr Daniel Ludlow, a surgeon of Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire, where he gained most of the experience needed to become a surgeon himsel.

In year 1770, Jenner became apprenticed in surgery and anatomy under the guidance of Surgeon John Hunter and others at St George’s Hospital. William Osler records that Hunter gave Jenner William Harvey’s advice, very famous in medical circles. Don’t think; try.

He became a master mason 30 December 1802, in Lodge of Faith and Friendship . From 1812–1813, he served as worshipful master of Royal Berkeley Lodge of Faith and Friendship


Invention of the vaccine

After many years of observing cases of cowpox, Jenner took a step that could have branded him a criminal as easily as a hero. On May 14, 1796, he removed the fluid of a cowpox blister from dairymaid Sarah Nelmes, and inoculated James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy who soon came down with cowpox. Six weeks later, he inoculated the boy with smallpox. The boy remained healthy, and Jenner had proved his theory. Jenner called his method “vaccination,” using the Latin word “vaccinia,” meaning “cowpox.”


Jenner was found in a state of apoplexy in January 1823, with his right side paralyzed. He never fully recovered, and finally died of an apparent stroke on 26 January 1823 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England.

Awards and Achievements Of Edward Jenner

Dr. Edward Jenner was the recipient of many awards, lifetime and post-humous including:

1789 – Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine – an award to those whose discoveries and work have proved to be major advances in human health.- acclaimed scientists Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur among others also recieved this award.

1802 – The British Parliament awards him £10,000

1802 – Awarded Honorary Member of Guy’s Hospital Physical Society

1802 – Naval Medical Officers Award for Saving Many Lives during the Napoleonic War

1803 – Freedom of the City Award, City of London, England

1807 – British Parliment Grant of £ 20,000

Quotes and Sayings by Edward Jenner

I hope that some day the practice of producing cowpox in human beings will spread over the world – when that day comes, there will be no more smallpox.
I shall endeavour still further to prosecute this inquiry, an inquiry I trust not merely speculative, but of sufficient moment to inspire the pleasing hope of its becoming essentially beneficial to mankind.
The deviation of man from the state in which he was originally placed by nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of diseases.

Some Unknown Facts About Edward Jenner

1. Edward was orphaned when he was only five years old

2. He was variolated when he was a child

3. Jenner apprenticed under the famous surgeon John Hunter

4. He almost died while visiting a patient

5. He wrote a paper to correct a misconception over Cuckoo’s behavior

6. James Phipps was the first person given the cowpox vaccine by Edward Jenner

7. Jenner’s discovery faced resistance due to several reasons

8. He was not the first person to use vaccination against smallpox

.9 It is estimated that his work saved more lives than the work of any other human in history

10. Edward Jenner is called “the Father of Immunology”

Books About Edward Jenner

The Man Who Saved The World From Smallpox: Doctor Edward Jenner
by George Smith

Conqueror of Smallpox : Dr. Edward Jenner
by Israel E. Levine

The Eradication of Smallpox: Edward Jenner and The First and Only Eradication of a Human Infectious Disease
by Hervé Bazin

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