James B. Duke Professor of Surgery
DegreesBS Chicago; MD Vanderbilt
Hired for cancer and virus research in 1937, with funding from Lederle Laboratories. Beard and his wife and research partner Dorothy developed a killed-virus vaccine for horse encephalitis, AKA "blind staggers," using ultracentrifuges and chick embroyos. The vaccine saved hundreds of thousands of horses and protected humans, which also helping establish the notion that killed virus is effective and safe as a vaccine. Beard went on to make Duke a leader in virology research, including influenza, using an early electron microscope and the new Bell Building dedicated to research. He also identified links between viruses and human cancers and tested early versions of the flu vaccine using hog pens on a farm near Hillsborough.