An obscure 60-year-old study has been awarded a 2018 Golden Goose Award, in recognition of its help in developing vaccines, treating autoimmune disorders and acting as one of the precursors to immunotherapy.
Golden Goose Awards are given to "seemingly-obscure, federally-funded research" that leads to "major breakthroughs in biomedical research, medical treatments, and computing and communications technologies".
Chickens are born with the bursa of Fabricius, an organ that was researched by Bruce Glick of Ohio State University in the 1950s. After removing these from chicks in an unrelated experiment, Glick and colleague Timothy Chang found that bursa-less chickens could not produce immunity.
Published in 1956 by Poultry Science, Glick's study is now the most cited work in history of the journal.
EARA Executive Director Kirk Leech commented: "This shows the importance of basic and 'blue skies' research by scientists even when the results or practical applications are not immediately apparent."