The early 1900s witnessed feverish research toward creating a polio vaccine. Jonas Salk finally developed the first successful one, thanks in part to a team led by Raymond Parker. Parker was an internationally-recognized expert in tissue culture techniques at the University of Toronto. He supervised the creation of a new synthetic nutrient base known as “Medium 199.” This allowed the polio virus to be safely cultivated in large enough quantities for a vaccine trial.
“Medium 199” was part of the largest medical experiment ever undertaken at the time, culminating in the licensing of the Salk polio vaccine.