The short answer is no, there is not one physician; the person who did most to uncover Wakefield's fraudulent research is a UK investigative journalist, Brian Deer.
Here's the claim:
Wakefied's research never claimed vaccines cause Autism. His research showed that vaccines cause intestinal damage that led to leaky gut syndrome which allowed toxins to enter the bloodstream and brain, And THAT is what caused Autism. The doctor that supposedly debunked his research
Is there one doctor who, single-handedly, "supposedly debunked" Wakefield's research? No.
Timeline of publications
- February 28, 1998: Wakefield et al publish Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children in the Lancet.
- March 1998-June 1999: More than 40 commentaries on Wakefield paper are published in the Lancet and the British Medical Journal.
- May 2, 1998 Peltola H, Patja A, Leinikki P, Valle M, Davidkin I, Paunio M. No evidence for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine-associated inflammatory bowel disease or autism in a 14-year prospective study. Lancet. 1998 May 2;351(9112):1327-8.
- June 12, 1999: Taylor B, Miller E, Farrington P, Petropoulos MC, Favot-Mayaud I, Li J, Waight PA, Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association The Lancet, Volume 353, Issue 9169, Pages 2026 - 2029, 12 June 1999
- December 2000 Patja A, Davidkin I, Kurki T, Kallio MJ, Valle M, Peltola H., Serious adverse events after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination during a fourteen-year prospective follow-up. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 Dec;19(12):1127-34. Study of 1,8 million individuals: "Comprehensive analysis of the reported adverse reactions established that serious events causally related to MMR vaccine are rare and greatly outweighed by the risks of natural MMR diseases."
- May, 2001: Halsey NA, Hyman SL; Conference Writing Panel. Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autistic spectrum disorder: report from the New Challenges in Childhood Immunizations Conference convened in Oak Brook, Illinois, June 12-13, 2000. Pediatrics. 2001 May;107(5):E84. " the available evidence does not support the hypothesis that MMR vaccine causesautism or associated disorders or IBD. "
- June 14, 2001 Farrington CP, Miller E, Taylor B. MMR and autism: further evidence against a causal association. Vaccine. 2001 Jun 14;19(27):3632-5.
- October, 2001 Fombonne E, Chakrabarti S. No evidence for a new variant of measles-mumps-rubella-induced autism. Pediatrics. 2001 Oct;108(4):E58.
November, 2001: Wakefield asked by the Royal Free Hospital to resign. Anti-MMR doctor is forced out
- February 14, 2002: Michael Fitzpatrick MD on Wakefield, Immune to the evidence (see the list of Fitzpatrick's articles on Wakefield and MMR, below)
- February 16, 2002: Taylor B, Miller E, Lingam R, Andrews N, Simmons A, Stowe J. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study. BMJ. 2002 Feb 16;324(7334):393-6. "These findings provide no support for an MMR associated "new variant" form of autism with developmental regression and bowel problems, and further evidence against involvement of MMR vaccine in the initiation of autism."
- November 2002 Mäkelä A, Nuorti JP, Peltola H. Neurologic disorders after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Pediatrics. 2002 Nov;110(5):957-63. A study of 535,544 Finnish children. "We did not identify any association between MMR vaccination and encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, or autism"
- November 2002 Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaard M, Schendel D, Wohlfahrt J, Thorsen P, Olsen J, Melbye M., A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. N Engl J Med. 2002 Nov 7;347(19):1477-82. "This study provides strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism."
- February 22, 2004: Brian Deer publishes the first in a long-running series on l'affaire Wakefield. (see the list of Deer's articles on Wakefield and MMR, below)
- March 6, 2004 Partial retraction of Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children , by 10 of 14 authors.
- Summer, 2004. Following Brian Deer's exposé in the Sunday Times (see list below) the UK's General Medical Council begins an investigation into Andrew Wakefield's professional conduct
- September 2004 Smeeth L, Cook C, Fombonne E, Heavey L, Rodrigues LC, Smith PG, Hall AJ. MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: a case-control study. Lancet. 2004 Sep 11-17;364(9438):963-9.
- June 11, 2006: The UK's General Medical Council announces that Wakefield will face charges: Doctor behind MMR scare to face four charges of misconduct over research
- January 15, 2007: Arthur Allen published Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver pp 371-420 discuss the various theories on vaccines being causal in autism
- July 16, 2007: Andrew Wakefield appears before the General Medical Council's Disciplinary Committee
- September 18, 2008: Paul Offit publishes Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure
- January 2010 GMC panel finds Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct in 1996-1998.
- May 24, 2010: Andrew Wakefield struck off the UK Medical Register
- December 10, 2012: Paul Offit publishes Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All
Brian Deer's complete investigative reports:
22.02.04 Revealed: MMR research scandal
22.02.04 Focus: MMR - the truth behind the crisis
22.02.04 The editor: Dr Richard Horton
22.02.04 The investigator: Brian Deer
07.03.04 Key ally of MMR doctor rejects autism link
25.04.04 Fresh doubts cast on MMR study data
14.11.04 MMR scare doctor planned rival vaccine
12.12.04 Doctors in MMR scare face public inquiry
06.03.05 MMR jab scare research dealt a 'killer blow'
11.09.05 MMR scare doctor faces list of charges
02.04.06 Schoolboy, 13, dies as measles makes a comeback
21.05.06 Just how much new research can we trust?
18.06.06 How a spurious health scare brought an old killer back
18.06.06 MMR: Countdown to a crisis
31.12.06 MMR doctor given legal aid thousands
15.07.07 Memo warned MMR doctor of research flaw
08.02.09 MMR doctor fixed data on autism
08.02.09 Hidden records show MMR truth
08.02.09 How the MMR scare led to the return of measles
08.02.09 MMR - key dates in the crisis
24.01.10 News Review: Truth of the MMR vaccine scandal
31.01.10 Focus: "Callous, unethical and dishonest"
31.01.10 Leading article: Bad science needs good scrutiny
02.02.10 BMJ column: Reflections on investigating Wakefield
15.04.10 BMJ special report: "Autistic enterocolitis"
23.05.10 Weeping wounds of the MMR scare
05.01.11 BMJ: How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed*
05.01.11 BMJ web extra: MMR & autism - fixing the link (tables)*
05.01.11 BMJ editorial: Wakefield's article... was fraudulent
05.01.11 BMJ online: Piltdown medicine*
09.01.11 A warning shot for the cheats in white coats
11.01.11 BMJ: How the vaccine crisis was meant to make money*
11.01.11 BMJ: Timeline*
19.01.11 BMJ: The Lancet's two days to bury bad news*
09.11.11 BMJ: Pathology reports solve 'new bowel disease' riddle
12.08.12 Doctoring the evidence
* BMJ special series: "Secrets of the MMR scare"