Youngner receives Chancellor's Medal

In his final year as chancellor of the University, Mark A. Nordenberg delivered the address to Pitt’s graduating Class of 2014 at the Petersen Events Center April 27. But before he delivered his message to this year’s class of over 6,000 graduates, including over 500 doctoral degree candidates, Nordenberg and three others were honored.

First, Nordenberg bestowed Chancellor’s Medals on Pitt faculty members Julius S. Youngner, Bernard Fisher and Thomas E. Starzl. According to Nordenberg, Chancellor’s Medals are the most prestigious of all medals and medallions awarded by the University and are awarded to those who have left an indelible mark on the traditions, values and character of Pitt.

Youngner, a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and a pioneer in polio prevention, assisted in the development of the vaccine after arriving at Pitt in 1949. “Among his many contributions, he established the self-culture technique that made large-scale production of the polio virus possible, developed the process to destroy the ability of the virus to infect without impeding its effectiveness as a vaccine … ,” Nordenberg said.