The son of a veterinarian Arnold Theiler made major works on the causative agents of infectious diseases. He received in 1951 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his development of a vaccine against yellow fever. In 1949 he received the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research.
Theiler studied medicine at the University of Cape Town, at St. Thomas Hospital in London and the London School of Tropical Medicine. In 1922, he received his M.D. Degree and went to the USA at Harvard Medical School. From 1930 he worked at the Rockefeller Institute in New York, where he remained for the rest of his career and the virus laboratory headed.
Theiler dealt in particular with yellow fever and showed that it is not icteroides by the bacterium Leptospira, was caused ( the causative agent of Weil's disease ), as was conjectured in the 1920s in part. After Adrian Stokes showed that yellow fever could be induced in rhesus monkeys, Theiler took a further step forward: he showed that the virus causes meningitis in mice. If the exciter then transferred back to monkeys, it triggers from yellow fever in a weakened form, the results in monkeys also immunity from the deadly form of yellow fever. This finding was the basis for vaccine development by Theiler and Hugh Smith ( 17 D vaccine, 1937). In the 1940s, the Rockefeller Institute presented large amounts of vaccine ago.
The lunar crater Theiler is named after him.