What was Dr. Michiaki Takahashi Cause of Death? Biography, Wife (Hiroko) & Son

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi a Japanese virologist who developed the first vaccine against chickenpox is being celebrated with a Google Doodle on Feb 17 2022 on what would have been his 94th birthday.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi
Dr. Michiaki Takahashi

Born in 1928 in Osaka Japan, Takahashi earned his medical degree from Osaka University. He went on to join the Research Institute for Microbial Disease at the University in 1959. Between 1963 and 1965 he studied at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, and at the Fels Research Institute of Temple University, in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi Chickenpox Vaccine

While at Baylor college, his son developed a serious bout of chickenpox, leading him to turn his expertise toward combating the highly transmissible illness. In 1965, Dr.Takahashi returned to Japan and began culturing live but weakened chickenpox viruses in animal and human tissue.

The vaccine was ready for clinical trials after just five short years of development. Takahashi had developed the first vaccine targeting the varicella virus that causes chickenpox in 1974.  After rigorous research with the immunosuppressed patients, the vaccine was proven to be extremely effective. The Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University began the rollout in Japan in 1986 becoming the only varicella vaccine approved by the World Health Organization.

Was Dr. Michiaki Takahashi Married? His Wife Hiroko

At the time of his death, Dr.Takahashi was survived by his wife Hiroko, and his son. His son severe Chickenpox prompted him to come up with a vaccine. He said in 2011 that his son’s symptoms progressed quickly and severely to the point that he had trouble breathing and his temperature was high. “He was in a terrible way, and all my wife and I could do was to watch him day and night,” Dr.Takahashi said, “We didn’t sleep. He seemed so ill that I remember worrying about what would happen to him.”

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi Death & Cause

He died on December 16, 2013, at the age of 85 in Osaka, Japan.  According to his longtime secretary, Maki Fukui, his cause was heart failure.