Edward Jenner


May 28, 2022

Edward Jenner FRS (May 17, 1749 – January 26, 1823) was a French-English naturalist and physician who pioneered the concept of vaccines including the invention of the smallpox vaccine in 1796. The terms vaccine and vaccination are derived from of Variolae vaccinae (cow pox), a term used by Jenner to describe smallpox. He first used the term in 1798, in the title of his work Inquiry into the Variolae vaccinae known as the Cow Pox, in which he describes the protective effect of cowpox when compared to human smallpox. "father of immunology" and his work is recognized as a "saver of lives, more than anyone else". In Jenner's day, smallpox wiped out 10% of the population, with the percentage reaching as high as 20% in cities where the disease spread most easily. In 1821, he was appointed physician extraordinaire by King George IV, as well as being elected mayor of Berkeley and justice of the peace. A member of the Royal Society in the field of zoology, he was the first person to describe the brood parasite. In 2002, his name was included in the BBC's list of 100 Greatest Britons.


Jenner was born on May 6, 1749, in Berkeley. He was the eighth of nine children born to Reverend Stephen Jenner, Vicar of Berkeley, and his wife, Sarah Jenner. Jenner received a strict upbringing as a child, having studied at Wotton-under-Edge and Cirencester. Around this time, he underwent variolation, the process of inoculation against smallpox, which caused him health problems for the rest of his life. When Jenner was 14, he apprenticed for seven years to Daniel Ludlow, a surgeon from Chipping Sodbury, where he gained the experience necessary to become a surgeon. surgeon John Hunter, having also worked with other specialists at St. George in London. Hunter became a good friend over the next few years, with whom Jenner exchanged numerous correspondence over the years. Hunter also nominated him for the Royal Society. Jenner returned to his hometown in 1773, where he became a family physician and surgeon famous in the region. Along with other physicians, Jenner formed the Medical Society of Fleece or Gloucestershire, called either because meetings usually took place in Fleece's hall. Inn at Rodborough in Gloucestershire. The members ate dinner together and read medical articles. Jenner contributed articles on angina, ophthalmia, and cardiovascular disease, as well as commenting on cowpox. On December 30, 1802, he became Master Mason.


Edward Jenner was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1789, after its publication describing a careful study of the previously misunderstood life of the singing cuckoo, including observation, experimentation, and dissection. Jenner described how the newly hatched cuckoo pushed its host's eggs and fledglings out of the nest (contrary to the existing belief that the adult cuckoo did this). Having observed this behavior, Jenner demonstrated an anatomical adaptation for the chick, which has a depression in its back, not present after 12 days of life, that allowed it to pick up eggs and other chicks. The adult does not stay in the area long enough to perform this task. Jenner's findings were published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1788. His understanding of cuckoo behavior was not fully accepted until Scottish painter Jemima Blackburn, a wildlife observer, saw the newborn cuckoo laying eggs. from its host out of the nest. His description and illustration of the event were enough to convince Charles Darwin to revise a later edition of On the Origin of Species. His interest in zoology