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Alexander, Hattie Elizabeth (05 April 1901–24 June 1968), microbiologist and pediatrician, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of William Bain Alexander, a merchant, and Elsie May Townsend, both of Scottish ancestry. The family remained in Baltimore throughout Alexander’s relatively happy and comfortable childhood. She attended Baltimore’s Western High School for Girls prior to enrolling in Goucher College, to which she won a partial scholarship. While at Goucher, her enthusiasm for a variety of sports—hockey, baseball, basketball—exceeded that for academics, and she was an unimpressive student. Nevertheless, she exhibited marked, though largely unapplied, skill in Dr. Jessie King’s bacteriology class, and fellow students in the Goucher yearbook declared that “ambition fires her; hygiene claims her; kindness portrays her.”...

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Bailey, Pearce (22 July 1902–23 June 1976), neurologist and federal health science administrator, was born in New York City, the son of Pearce Bailey, a prominent neurologist, and Edith L. Black. Bailey’s choice of a career was doubtless influenced by the fact that his physician father was president of the American Neurological Association in 1913 and was a cofounder of the Neurological Institute at Columbia University in New York City. After graduation from Princeton University with an A.B. in 1924, Bailey pursued postgraduate studies at Columbia University, from which he received an M.A. in psychology in 1931. He then studied at the Université de Paris, where he earned a Ph.D. in psychology in 1933; took an honors course in chemistry at the University of London in 1934; and earned an M.D. at the Medical College of South Carolina at Charleston in 1941....

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Corner, George Washington (12 December 1889–28 September 1981), anatomist, endocrinologist, and medical historian, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of George Washington Corner II, a merchant, and Florence Evans. He attended the Boys Latin School, from which he graduated with honors in six subjects, and entered the Johns Hopkins University in 1906. His original intention was to study languages. Within a year, however, he discovered he was more inclined to biological studies. In 1909 he graduated with an A.B. and entered the Johns Hopkins Medical School. Corner’s years at Johns Hopkins were those of the great founders, ...

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Failla, Gioacchino (19 July 1891–15 December 1961), physicist, was born in Sicily, Italy, the son of Nicolo Failla, a postal worker, and Sara Spoleti. When Gioacchino was three years old his father died. His mother then emigrated to the United States and left him with his paternal grandfather, a physician, who raised him for the next twelve years. Failla attended a private school in Cefalu. When he was fifteen years old his mother, who had been working as a seamstress, returned to Sicily to claim her son. She brought him to live with her in Manhattan in 1906....

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Geschwind, Norman (08 January 1926–04 November 1984), neurologist and neuroscientist, was born in New York City, the son of Morris Geschwind and Hanna Ruth Blau. Geschwind lost his father when he was four; his mother raised him and his elder brother Irving, who also became a prominent medical researcher. Geschwind attended the Etz Chaim Yeshiva and then the Boys’ High School in Brooklyn. At the age of sixteen he was admitted to Harvard College on a full scholarship, but he was soon drafted into the infantry during World War II. He returned to Harvard to receive an A.B. in 1947, magna cum laude, and an M.D. in 1951, cum laude. A Moseley Travelling Fellowship and then a U.S. Public Health Service Fellowship allowed him to spend three years with Sir Charles Symonds at the National Hospital in London. There he met Patricia Dougan, whom he married in 1956; they had three children....

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Koplik, Henry (28 October 1858–30 April 1927), pediatrician, educator, and microbiologist, was born in New York City, the son of Abraham S. Koplik and Rosalie K. Prager. Koplik received his undergraduate education at the City College of New York, where he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in 1878. In 1881 Koplik completed his medical school studies at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in the City of New York. The following year, 1882, he served his internship at the Bellevue Hospital of New York City....

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Scharrer, Berta Vogel (01 December 1906–23 July 1995), cell biologist and pioneering neuroendocrinologist, was born Berta Vogel in Munich, Germany, the daughter of Karl Phillip Vogel, a prominent judge in the Bavarian state court, and Johanna Weiss. Berta grew up in happy circumstances at home and in school, and she showed an early interest in biology and in becoming a scientist. But after 1914 her life was shadowed by World War I, by Germany's defeat and economic chaos, and ultimately by the rise of Nazism, which gained an early foothold in Munich. Scharrer entered the University of Munich in the swale of Adolf Hitler's conspiracy to overthrow of the Bavarian government, and she graduated with a Ph.D. in 1930, as the Nazis came to national prominence....