New Acquisitions: Priscilla A. Schaffer Papers

By , January 10, 2014
Priscilla A. Schaffer, Ph.D

Priscilla A. Schaffer, Ph.D

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the acquisition of the personal and professional papers of  Priscilla Ann Schaffer, Ph.D (1941 – 2009). She served two stints on the Harvard Faculty of Medicine, was one of the school’s first woman full professors, and was an internationally recognized virologist who published more than 150 papers.

Schaffer’s research focused on herpesviruses, specializing in the research of herpes simplex, and she used genetic approaches to illuminate mechanisms of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) gene expression, DNA replication, latency and reactivation. Her lab was the first to generate mutants of HSV, to establish the genetic and physical maps for HSV, and to identify the viral DNA replication and regulatory proteins. Schaffer was noted for her relentless, genetic approach to nearly every aspect of HSV.

She is also renowned for her mentorship of students, postdoctoral fellows, and fellow faculty. For more about Dr. Schaffer, see the tribute published by the HMS Office of Faculty Affairs.

The collection, which is not yet available for research, consists chiefly of grant records, 1980s-2000s. Also included are lab notebooks, lectures, awards, manuscript drafts, correspondence related to HSV gene mutant requests, and copies of theses and dissertations for which Schaffer served as advisor.

For more information about the collection, contact Public Services at

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