Posts tagged: cancer

Processing of the Francesc Duran i Reynals Papers Underway

By , December 18, 2015

0003703_drefIn the 1950s, Francesc Duran i Reynals, a Spanish-born microbiologist working in the Department of Microbiology at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, developed theories about the viral etiology of cancer. At the time, these theories were often debated and argued against, but Duran i Reynals’ experiments and writings opened the field of virus-tumor research, and led to progress in the understanding of cancer and the mechanisms of spread for infectious agents in the body. The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to report that the Francesc Duran i Reynals papers (1924-1960), a product of Duran i Reynals’s professional, research, and publishing activities, are being processed as part of the Maximizing Microbiology: Molecular Genetics, Cancer, and Virology.

Francesc Duran i Reynals (1899-1958) completed both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Barcelona, Spain, where he worked with Ramon Turro (1854-1926). He became the first Spanish scientist to culture bacterial viruses. In 1925, he moved to Paris, France, to work with Alexandre Besredka (1870-1940) and Élie Wollman (1917-2008) in a laboratory at the Institut Pasteur. Between 1926 and 1928, Duran i Reynals relocated to New York, New York, to work with Dr. James B. Murphy (1884-1950) at the Rockefeller Institute in the Department of Cancer Research, where he remained until 1934, when he returned to Spain to start a new laboratory of cancer research at the University of Madrid. However, when the Spanish Civil War halted those plans, Dr. Murphy rehired Duran i Reynals at the Rockefeller Institute, where he remained until 1938, becoming a Research Assistant in the Department of Microbiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Later, he became a Research Associate and lecturer, and remained at Yale until his death. Duran i Reynals spent the summers from 1938 to 1957 working as a Scientific Associate at the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. His wife, Maria Luisa de Ayala, worked with him at Yale and the Jackson Memorial Laboratory, and continued his research after his death on 1958 March 28.

Duran i Reynals’s research focused on the viral etiology of cancer, studying the responses of the ground substances of tissues and necrotizing and tumor-producing cancers. His laboratory experiments demonstrated the capacity of the Rous virus to adapt to different types of bird by the infection of embryos and recently hatched birds. These experiments led to the idea of the increased sensitivity of very young animals to tumor-producing animals, which in turn has led to the detection of viruses causing leukemias and other tumors in mammals.

The papers, created throughout Duran i Reynals’s professional, research, and publishing activities, include raw research data, research notes, writings and published scientific articles, as well as reference files. The papers are expected to be opened to research by the end of 2015.

The Maximizing Microbiology: Molecular Genetics, Cancer, and Virology, 1936-2000 project is funded by a Hidden Collections grant from the Harvard University Library. In addition to the Frances Duran i Reynals papers, the project has already led to the processing of collections of two others whose work relates to the origins of molecular genetics: the Bernard D. Davis papers, 1909-1995, and the Arthur B. Pardee papers, 1949-2001. Other collections to be opened as part of the project include the Luigi Gorini papers. For more information on the Maximizing Microbiology project, please contact Emily Novak Gustainis, Head, Collections Services or Elizabeth Coup, Processing Assistant.

 

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Processing the Arthur B. Pardee Papers As Part of the Maximizing Microbiology Project

By , December 4, 2015

In 1954, Arthur B. Pardee published a paper describing the discovery of messenger RNA (mRNA), soon after publishing the first report of ribosomes in bacteria in 1952, forever changing the study of microbiology. The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to report that the Arthur B. Pardee papers (1949-2001), a product of Pardee’s professional activities, research, and career as a professor at Harvard Medical School and researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, are currently being processed as part of the Maximizing Microbiology: Molecular Genetics, Cancer, and Virology, 1936-2000 project.

Arthur B. Pardee (1921-) graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1942, before receiving his Masters of Science in 1943 and then doctorate from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in 1947. Pardee spent several years teaching and working in the influential Virus Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, where much of his early research focused on the mechanism of feedback inhibition at the biochemical level. While working at the Virus Lab, Pardee made the discovery of mRNA as well as the presence of ribosomes in bacteria. In 1959, Pardee took a sabbatical and worked with Francois Jacob (1920-2013) and Jacques Monod (1910-1976) at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, where they carried out the “PaJaMo” experiment, which demonstrated that gene expression is regulated by a repressor mechanism.

Pardee went on to become a Professor of Biochemical Sciences at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, where he  identified the restriction point in the cell cycle, or “Pardee point,” which is a point in a cell cycle in the G1 Phase where the cell commits to moving to the S Phase. He published this finding in 1974, defining the discovery as that of a restriction point for control of normal animal cell proliferation.

In 1975, Pardee accepted the positions of Professor of Biological Chemistry, Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, and Chief, Division of Cell Growth and Regulation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts. In the 1980s, Pardee continued his work relating to cancer, identifying certain agents that can uncouple mitosis from the completion of DNA replication, which is lethal to cells. This finding led directly to the emergence of the idea that the cell-cycle is controlled by “checkpoint” proteins, which ensure temporal control of cell-cycle biochemical events. He thus introduced the idea that cancer cell frequently harbor defects in checkpoint proteins, and that checkpoint-abrogating agents might be used to selectively kill cancer cells. In the 1990s, along with Peng Liang, Pardee invented the concept of differential display, which is a method to detect messenger RNAs expressed in a given cell type, which can be used to isolate specific genes. This has since been used to detect genes whose expression has been altered by cancer or other diseases, and was one of the first methods used to detect cancer in its early stages. For his many accomplishments, Pardee has received countless awards and honors, and has been an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1963 and member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1968. He retired from teaching in 1992, and remains a Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Medical School. He continues to work as the Chief of the Division of Cell Growth and Regulation at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, actively publishing articles.

The papers, created throughout Pardee’s professional, research, and publishing activities, include raw research data, presentation materials, writings, and other materials relating to his professional activities. They are expected to be opened to research by the end of 2015.

The Maximizing Microbiology: Molecular Genetics, Cancer, and Virology, 1936-2000 project is funded by a Hidden Collections grant from the Harvard University Libraries. In addition to the Arthur B. Pardee papers, the project will also open the collections of other scientists and professors whose work relates to the origins of molecular genetics: the Francesc Duran i Reynals papers, 1936-1959 and the Luigi Gorini papers, 1947-1980s. Already, the Bernard D. Davis papers, 1909-1995 (inclusive), 1939-1994 (bulk), have been opened as part of the project. For more information on the Maximizing Microbiology project, please contact Emily Novak Gustainis, Head, Collections Services or Elizabeth Coup, Processing Assistant.

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New Acquisitions: Rose E. Frisch Papers

By , September 29, 2015
Rose E. Frisch, seen in the early 1980s, spent decades at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Image courtesy of the New York Times.

Rose E. Frisch, seen in the early 1980s, spent decades at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Image courtesy of the New York Times.

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the acquisition of the personal and professional papers of the late Dr. Rose E. Frisch (1918-2015), a biologist whose work was instrumental in the discovery of leptin. Dr. Frisch was associate professor emerita of population sciences at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), and is mainly known for her work in infertility; specifically the discovery that low body fat was a contributing factor to infertility. She also demonstrated the relationship between early athletic activity and later-life cancer. For more about Dr. Frisch, please read the obituary released by HSPH on February 13, 2015, or her obituary in the New York Times.

The collection, which is not yet available for research, spans Dr. Frisch’s career (1937-2014) and consists of writings/publications, correspondence, photographs, annotated reference material, research proposals, reprints, and a handwritten autobiography.

For more information about the collection, contact Public Services at chm@hms.harvard.edu.

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Casper Morley Epsteen Papers Now Open

By , August 11, 2014

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the Casper Morley Epsteen papers, 1928-1983 (inclusive), 1950-1979 (bulk) is now formally open for research.  An online guide to this collection is available here.

Teaching slide of Casper Morley Epsteen

Teaching slide of Casper Morley Epsteen

Casper Morley Epsteen (1902-1995), B.S., 1923, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago; M.D., 1925, University of Illinois College of Medicine; D.D.S., 1930, Loyola University Chicago College of Dentistry, was a senior attending surgeon at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, a Professor of Maxillofacial Surgery at Cook County Graduate School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, and a clinical professor of Maxillofacial and Plastic Surgery at Chicago Medical School. As a maxillofacial surgeon, Epsteen helped found the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons in 1947, an organization he served throughout his life.

Epsteen’s papers consist of three cubic feet of records associated with his professional career as a maxillofacial surgeon, professor, and active member of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (founded 1947) and the American Board of Maxillofacial Surgery (founded 1946). They include: administrative records generated as a result of his service to the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeon; personal correspondence; writings; assorted publications; and visual materials, which comprise the majority of the collection. The photographs, negatives, diagrams, x-rays, and teaching slides primarily depict maxillofacial fractures and different types of cysts, cancer, foreign bodies, and tumors.

The collection was processed by Gabrielle Barr, a University of Michigan student interning with the Center for the History of Medicine.

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M. Judah Folkman Papers Open to Research

By , August 7, 2014

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the M. Judah Folkman papers, 1907-2012 (inclusive), 1950-2006 (bulk). Folkman (1933-2008) was the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, as well as Surgeon-in-Chief (1967-1981), Director of the Surgical Research Laboratory (1981-2003), and Director of the Vascular Biology Program (2003-2008) at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Folkman’s research focused on angiogenesis, angiogenesis inhibitors, and antiangiogenesis therapy for the treatment of cancer, a method by which certain factors can be used to shut down abnormal blood vessel growth. Folkman’s laboratory developed angiostatin and endostatin, two antiangiogenic factors that were used in cancer clinical trials.

The papers are the product of Folkman’s publishing, research, and professional activities throughout the course of his career. The Folkman papers include research records from his heart block, pacemaker, silicone rubber, and angiogenesis research, his professional writings, teaching records, administrative records, lectures, personal correspondence, appointment books, and photographs.

The finding aid for the Folkman papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Processing of the M. Judah Folkman Papers was made possible through the generous financial support of Paula Folkman.

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October 11th: “Writing a History of Cancer” with Siddhartha Mukherjee

By , September 20, 2012

Garland lecture flyerPlease join us for the 37th Annual Joseph Garland Lecture:

Writing a History of Cancer: An epilogue

Thursday, October 11, 2012, 5:30 pm
Armenise Amphitheatre, Armenise Building
200 Longwood Ave. Boston, MA

Speaker: Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University and an oncologist at the Columbia University Medical Center. After studying immunology at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, he received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He did an oncology fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and was an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. His scientific work addresses the links between normal stem cells and cancer cells.

Dr. Mukherjee is the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

Please RSVP to Roz Vogel at 617-432-4807 or rvogel@hms.harvard.edu.

This lecture is sponsored by the Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

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New Acquisitions: “Cancers cured without the knife or dangerous caustics”

By , December 5, 2011

A rare, possibly one-of-a-kind, pamphlet was recently added to the holdings of the Center for the History of Medicine.

Advertising the services of a “Dr. Mrs. Andrews” in the treatment of cancer and tumors “without the knife or dangerous caustics,” the broadside includes numerous testimonials by patients, attesting to the success of her techniques. The pamphlet dates from 1878, a time when women in medicine practicing in Boston were scarce indeed.

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Center receives William A. Haseltine collection and $200,000 gift

By , September 7, 2011

William A. Haseltine

William A. Haseltine, PhD has had an active career in both science and business. He was a Harvard Medical School professor for nearly two decades and is well known for his work on cancer, HIV/AIDS, and genomics. Dr. Haseltine has authored articles and books, founded nine biotechnology companies, and currently serves as the President of the Haseltine Foundation and ACCESS Health International.

In addition to donating his personal and professional papers to the Center for the History of Medicine, Haseltine has made a $200,000 gift to facilitate the creation of the William A. Haseltine Papers at the Center for the History of Medicine at the Countway Library.  This gift will support efforts to preserve, organize, and create an online guide to the information collected throughout his extensive career.

“I owe Harvard a deep debt of gratitude for my graduate training and for providing an outstanding environment to pursue my scientific research, one that values excellence, promotes accomplishments and fosters creativity. Harvard attracts the best and brightest undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows without whom my work would not have been possible,” he said. “This, in combination with the outstanding reputation of the Library, made this an easy choice.”

The Haseltine collection will serve as historical record of the revolution in bioscience, the first decade of HIV/AIDS research, and of the founding days of genomic study.

Opportunities for supporting access to collections are always available.  For more information please contact Kathryn Hammond Baker.

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