Office of the VP for Communications – Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Go flu

Shots all around

Tommy Francis at Special Projects Research Building.

Tommy Francis at the Special Projects Research Building, 1954. (Image courtesy of U-M’s Bentley Historical Library.)

As flu season kicks up yet again, we are reminded that U-M touches our lives in ways we never realized. In this issue, Jim Tobin revisits a familiar duo that gets a lot of play in U-M lore: Tommy Francis and Jonas Salk. These brilliant scientists proved the efficacy of the polio vaccine during their time at the University. But scratch a little deeper — as Tobin tends to do — and you’ll soon discover the significant role Francis also played in developing the world’s first effective flu vaccine. Talk about changing the course of history!

Research universities increasingly must prove their worth to a discerning public. So we expend a tremendous amount of effort promoting the work of our resident geniuses. We want you to know U-M is making strides in health care (implantable cancer traps, anyone?), revitalizing the region (a $300M innovation center in Detroit), and transforming transportation (Mcity), among so many other things. 

We fight for your attention against traditional media touting drama, intrigue, and negativity. We want you to find refuge in the pride you feel for your alma mater.

If you are reading this on Nov. 30, the holiday season is kicking into gear. You’re swapping out the Thanksgiving decor for something in the winter palette; U-M and Ohio State are about to battle it out at the Big House; and flu season is gaining traction.

Can’t help you with the holiday prep. And good luck with that U-M/OSU thing.

But next time you roll up your sleeve and make pleasantries with the nurse, whisper a quiet “Go blue” and let somebody else grab the tissues.



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