Chanock received his MD in 1947 from the University of Chicago, and after clinical training in pediatrics (note the bowtie), joined Albert Sabin at the University of Cincinnati where he studied arthropod-borne viruses. After a stint in the US Army, he rejoined Sabin’s laboratory in 1954 as an independent investigator. Sabin advised him to work on something other than poliomyelitis, to establish his own scientific identity. He decided to study an ongoing outbreak of croup in Cincinnati children and isolated a new virus, subsequently called human parainfluenza virus type 2. This discovery ensured that he would study respiratory viruses for the rest of his career.