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Frank Lappin Horsfall Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS C 191

Abstract

Dr. Frank Horsfall was a microbiologist with the Rockefeller Hospital from 1934 to 1960, after which he became Director of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research until his death in 1971. Collection contains correspondence, diaries, memoranda, drafts of articles, laboratory studies and notes, reprints, printed matter, and photos.

Dates

  • 1940-1971

Extent

8.82 Linear Feet (21 MS Boxes)

Creator

Abstract

Dr. Frank Horsfall was a microbiologist with the Rockefeller Hospital from 1934 to 1960, after which he became Director of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research until his death in 1971. Collection contains correspondence, diaries, memoranda, drafts of articles, laboratory studies and notes, reprints, printed matter, and photos.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Restrictions

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

Donor's copyrights were transferred to the public domain. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish. See the Reference Staff for details regarding rights.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Biographical Note

Dr. Frank Lappin Horsfall (1906-1971) was born in Seattle, WA. He received his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1927 and attended medical school at McGill University, graduating in 1932. Trained as a surgeon, he spent his first year after medical school at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston as a pathologist. He developed a severe hypersensitivity to formaldehyde, forcing him to leave his pathology studies, and ultimately, surgery. He spent another resident year at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital and Montreal General Hospital, but realized he could not work in any environment where formaldehyde was present. Thus, in the fall of 1934, he joined the pneumonia service of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, embarking on a career in microbiology and infectious diseases.

Between 1934-1937, Horsfall's work at the Rockefeller Hospital centered on immunological reactions between pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides and the antibodies to them produced by immunization of various animals. His studies resulted in the use of rabbit antisera over that of horse serum as standard pneumonia treatment. However, this advance was soon displaced by the discovery of sulfonamide drugs. In 1937, Horsfall began a four-year term with the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation and marks the beginning of his devotion to the study of viruses and the diseases they cause. Here he began his work on the human influenza virus and the pneumonia virus of mice (PVM), the two most significant highlights of his laboratory research career. Horsfall returned to the Rockefeller Hospital in 1941, becoming Vice President for Clinical Studies and Physician in Chief until he left in 1960. During World War II, he served in the Naval reserves as part of the Naval Medical Research Unit at the Rockefeller Hospital, concentrating on respiratory tract diseases, specifically primary atypical pneumonia.

Horsfall's second career as Director of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center was an important one, that of a scientific statesman guiding the research of the largest private cancer research institution. His work centered around his synthesis of ideas about carcinogens, especially as they related to the role of viruses as oncogenic agents, the interaction of viruses and chemical agents, immune processes that possible modified malignant change, and the role of chemotherapy. His leadership at Sloan-Kettering came at a time of change for cancer research. The role of chemical carcinogens became the central area of study in the 1960s. Horsfall forcefully argued in a number of important publications that viral and chemical carcinogens may be interrelated, and perhaps were even interdependent. This concept of interdependency between viruses and chemicals marked an important shift in cancer etiology and resulted in rapid advances in cancer research.

Horsfall was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1958, and was a member of the American Philosophical Society (1956) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1967). He authored over 200 publications and received several honorary degrees. His professional awards include the Eli Lily Award in Bacteriology and Immunology (1937), and the Fiftieth Anniversary Gold Medal Award of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (1959).

Collection Summary

Includes material relating to various science conferences, meetings, and lectures. Correspondents include Morris Fishbein, Peyton Rous, Thomas M. Rivers, Albert B. Sabin, Basil O'Conner, Jonas Salk, Stanhope Bayne-Jones, Detlev Bronk, George Corner, Rufus Cole, Abraham Flexner, P. B. Medawar, Irving H. Page, Luther Terry, David Rockefeller, Winthrop Rockefeller, Selman A. Waksman, Paul Weiss, and George H. Whipple.

Provenance

Gift, 1975.

General

Processed by
HMD Staff
Encoded by
Dan Jenkins

Language of Materials

Collection materials primarily in English

Title
Finding Aid to the Frank Lappin Horsfall Papers1940-1971
Status
Unverified Partial Draft
Author
HMD Staff
Date
2000
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement
Version 1.0

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

Contact:
8600 Rockville Pike
Bldg 38/1E-21, MSC 3819
Bethesda MD 20894 US
(301) 402-8878