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Biggs, Hermann Michael (29 September 1859–28 June 1923), pathologist, bacteriologist, physician, and public health official, was born in Trumansburg, New York, the son of Joseph Hunt Biggs and Melissa Pratt. Dr. Biggs married Frances M. Richardson, of Hornellsville, New York, in 1898; they had two children. Biggs received his primary education in Ithaca, New York, and matriculated into Cornell University, where he received the bachelor of arts degree in 1882. From Cornell Biggs went on to medical school at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, where he received his M.D. the following year. He spent the next eighteen months (1882–1883) in the postgraduate course at Bellevue, where he served as a rotating intern and resident physician. Upon completion of this course, Biggs traveled to Europe and spent the next two years (1883–1885) studying bacteriology in Berlin and Griefswald. When he returned to New York City in 1886, Biggs was made director of the newly opened Carnegie Bacteriology Laboratory of the Bellevue Hospital. His rise in academic rank was meteoric; appointed a lecturer in pathology in 1886, Biggs was made a full professor of pathology in 1889, professor of materia medica (pharmacology) in 1892, professor of therapeutics in 1898, and professor of medicine in 1912....

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Flexner, Simon (25 March 1863–02 May 1946), pathologist and bacteriologist, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of well-educated Jewish immigrants Morris Flexner, a merchant and salesman, and Esther Abraham, a seamstress. Simon Flexner had little formal education. As a child he was an indifferent student and a mischief maker. He quit school in the sixth grade and held a variety of menial jobs. At age sixteen he nearly succumbed to typhoid fever, and after he recovered his attitude toward education changed. He became a pharmacy apprentice at Vincent Davis’s drugstore for two years and attended two three-month courses of lectures at the Louisville College of Pharmacy, surprising his family by finishing first in his class in 1882. Upon graduating he clerked for eight years in the drugstore owned by his eldest brother, Jacob. Simon lived over the store, made up for his educational deficits by studying math and science from his brothers’ school books, took up botanizing and microscopy, and organized the Louisville Microscopical Club. He taught himself histology and acquired an interest in pathology through local doctors, who gathered to converse in Jacob’s store and brought him specimens to analyze. Simon Flexner hoped to open his own pathological laboratory in Louisville, so he entered the University of Louisville School of Medicine and earned an M.D. in 1889. At the urging of his younger brother Abraham, who later became known for writing the Carnegie Institution report on American medical schools, Flexner enrolled in the postgraduate course in pathology at the Johns Hopkins University....

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Prudden, Theophil Mitchell (07 July 1849–08 April 1924), pathologist, bacteriologist, and archaeologist, was born in Middlebury, Connecticut, the son of George Peter Prudden, a Yale-educated Congregational minister, and Eliza Anne Johnson. When Prudden was a teenager, his family home was a station on the “underground railway.” He attended the Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, before entering Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School in 1869 on a Connecticut state fellowship. Sheffield established a special premedical course for Prudden and a classmate, Thomas H. Russell, that gave them an unusual opportunity to gain skills in laboratory science and natural history. Prudden worked one summer on a western expedition with famed Yale paleontologist ...

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Shope, Richard Edwin (25 December 1901–02 October 1966), animal pathologist and virologist, was born in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Charles Cornelius Shope, a physician, and Mary Hast. Shope attended medical school in Iowa City, receiving the M.D. in 1924. For a brief time he was instructor in pharmacology at the State University of Iowa. In 1925 he married Helen Madden Ellis; they had four children....