The Google Doodle for today honours Rudolf Weigl, a Polish biologist. Among his notable contributions is the development of the Typhus vaccine.
The doodle commemorates his 138th birthday and portrays him doing what he did best: developing life-saving medications in a lab.
Rudolf Stefan Jan Weigl was born in 1883 in what is now the Czech Republic. In 1907, he graduated from Lwow University in Poland with a degree in biological sciences. Not only that, but he also holds doctorates in zoology, comparative anatomy, and histology.
During World War I, typhus wreaked devastation across Europe, killing millions in a matter of days. Weigl decided to take matters into his own hands and conduct his own investigation into the sickness. He discovered it was lice that were the source of the sickness. To make the vaccine, he grew it in his lab and smashed their guts.
After several years of tweaking, large-scale testing of the vaccine began in 1933.
While his work is admirable, his participation in rescuing over 5000 patients makes him a historical figure. When Germany learned about him, they commissioned Weigl to build a Typhus vaccine factory. He did this by hiring many of his colleagues and acquaintances in order to keep them from being deported to concentration camps. He also got the vaccines into the death camps by smuggling them in.
Weigl was nominated for the Nobel Prize twice for his work on vaccination and humanitarian activities. However, he was not the intended recipient both times, owing to meddling. In 1957, he took his last breath. In 2003, Israel gave the title of 'Righteous Among the Nations' to him in recognition of his contribution.