He was awarded the Sabin Gold Medal for his pioneering work on the vaccine. He is the 13th recipient of this recognition, awarded annually by the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Called the father of human gastroenteritis virus research, Kapikian identified the first norovirus, initially called Norwalk virus, in 1972.
And he and his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health identified the hepatitis A virus in 1973.
Kapikian graduated from Cornell Medical College in 1956 and began a career with the National Institutes of Health in 1957. He was chief of the epidemiology section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases), a position he held for 45 years.
In 1998 he was appointed Deputy Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Kapikian died on February 24, 2014, at the age of 83.