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Theobald Smith, microbiologist : suppressing the diseases of animals and man
Dolman, Claude E. (Claude Ernest), 1906-1994.
Publication Information:
Boston : Published by the Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine : Distributed by the Harvard University Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
xii, 691 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 26 cm
Bibliography of Theobald Smith, 1880-1934 (p. [559]-584).
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QR31.S65 D65 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Theobald Smith (1859-1934) is widely considered to be America's first significant medical scientist and the world's leading comparative pathologist. Entering the new field of infectious diseases as a young medical graduate, his research in bacteriology, immunology, and parasitology produced many important and basic discoveries. His most significant accomplishment was proving for the first time that an infectious disease could be transmitted by an arthropod agent. He also made significant discoveries on anaphylaxis, vaccine production, bacterial variation and a host of other methods and diseases. His work on hog cholera led to the selection of the paratyphoid species causing enteric fever as the prototype of the eponymous Salmonella genus, mistakenly named for his chief at the US Department of Agriculture, Daniel Salmon, who first reported the discovery in 1886, although the work was undertaken by Smith alone. Harvard Medical School and director of the biological laboratory at the Massachusetts State Board of Health. In 1902, when the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research was founded, he was offered but declined its directorship; however, in 1914, when the Institute established a division of animal pathology, he became director of its research division. Suppressing The Diseases of Animals and Man, a biography of Smith, is based primarily on personal papers and correspondence that have remained in the possession of his family until now.

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Choice Review

This dedication to microbiologist Smith provides a detailed account of a lifelong passion for using science to alleviate human suffering. Dolman and Wolfe meticulously investigate factors in Smith's upbringing that led him to studying medicine. Smith was raised by industrious German parents in the US, then worked his way into undergraduate studies at Cornell University. The authors recount Smith's associations with notable scientists who led him to pursue medical studies emphasizing pathology. The list of colleagues who influenced Smith's research reads like a who's who of microbiology. Smith's collaborations include other famous microbiologists who investigated infectious bacterial diseases of animal and humans. Each chapter presents Smith's research according to the chronology of his life and concurrent developments in medicine and microbiology, and discusses his contributions to controlling tragic livestock diseases such cattle fever, hog cholera, and swine plague. All chapters are thoroughly cited with references to original research papers, a valuable resource for investigating many aspects of microbiology. Few biographies of scientists delve so deeply into the day-by-day lives of distinguished yet little-known scientists. The small details of Smith's life are portrayed without being superfluous or tiresome. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through professionals. B. R. Shmaefsky Kingwood College