Posts tagged: Leukemia

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.

 

Collection Highlight: Clusters of Manuscripts in Radiology, Hematology, Surgery, and More

Francis D. Moore, Joseph Murray, and George Thorn. Date unknown.

One of the Center’s acquisitions goals is to develop collections that are uniquely deep and rich in connections, providing a view into biomedical and public health disciplines, research areas, communities, and practices via published and unpublished sources– personal papers, professional association records, institutional archives, ephemera, images, and objects. Several of these clusters are well-known; the Historical Collection in Radiology, for example, encompasses rare books extending to the earliest development of radiology, manufacturers catalogs, images, scientific apparatus, and the records of the Fleischner Society and American and New England Roentgen Ray Societies, as well as manuscript collections including those of Felix Fleischner, Morris Simon, Merrill Sosman, Charles L. Dunham and Lauriston Taylor. The Center continues to build on this strong foundation and opened many of these manuscript collections over the past two years (see recent blog posts). More collections will be opened next year.

Another cluster of collections recently opened by the Center are those in hematology (the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the blood and bone marrow as well as of the immunologic, blood clotting, and vascular systems). The Harvard medical community was the site of some major advances in hematology, including William Parry Murphy’s research concerning various hematological diseases, notably pernicious anemia, leukemia, and diabetes mellitus. With George Richards Minot (1885-1950) and George Hoyt Whipple (1878-1976), he is credited with developing a treatment for pernicious anemia using a diet of uncooked liver, for which all three were awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Murphy later worked throughout his career to refine the liver extract developed by Edwin Joseph Cohn (1892-1953) and George Richards Minot for the treatment of pernicious anemia. In 1941, Cohn, working with T.L. McMeekin and John L. Oncley (1810-2004), developed a method of fractionating blood plasma proteins to extend the storage life of blood and use blood proteins more efficiently. More recently, William Dameshek is credited with proposing a technique for bone marrow extraction using a needle, collaborating in the first known multi-institutional chemotherapy trial, and developing treatments for various autoimmune diseases. With Yuet Wai Kan, David G. Nathan introduced the first prenatal diagnostic test for thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.  He is also known for introducing deferoxamine as an effective treatment of iron overload and hydroxyurea as a treatment for sickle cell anemia symptoms. Collections in boldface were recently opened; more collections are on the way (see blog posts for details).

Surgery is another area in which we are assiduously acquiring and striving to open collections.  Earlier this year, Joseph Murray‘s papers were opened to research, joining the collections of plastic surgery pioneer Varaztad Kazanjian, Edward Churchill, Elliot Cutler, Louis T. Wright, the first black appointed to the staff of a New York hospital, Maurice Howe Richardson and his son, Edward Pierson RichardsonWilliam Bovie, American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the New England Vascular Surgery Society, and many others.  We are currently processing the Judah Folkman and Dwight Harken collections, but are still seeking resources to prepare for research access the extensive personal and professional papers of Francis D. Moore. Of greatest concern are the number of living ‘greats’ whose papers have yet to be acquired.

Building the powerful research collections that fuel ground-breaking research demands the active support of the whole community– everyone from physicians, health professionals, scientists, administrators, lab managers, researchers, and all those who are interested in the advancement of knowledge.  In addition to surgery, we are currently collecting in genetics, immunology and infectious diseases, public health, and other fields. We rely on you to alert us to important collections and objects in your field that might be of interest, particularly where those materials might be at risk.

Want to know more about the Center’s holdings in your discipline? Go to the Harvard Library simple search portal, enter your keyword, and click on “Go.” Your findings will be delivered on a Hollis results page; there are many options to refine (narrow) results, including location (select ‘Countway’) and format (choose ‘Archives/Manuscripts’). For assistance, contact the Center’s public services librarians at 617-432-2170 or email to chm@hms.harvard.edu.

William Parry Murphy Papers Open to Research

William Parry Murphy

William Parry Murphy, undated, H MS c284. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the William Parry Murphy papers, 1906-1987 (inclusive), 1919-1987 (bulk).  Murphy (1892-1987; A.B., 1914, University of Oregon, Eugene; M.D., 1922, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts) was Senior Associate in Medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and Lecturer in Medicine Emeritus at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.  Murphy’s research concerned various hematological diseases, notably pernicious anemia, leukemia, and diabetes mellitus.  With George Richards Minot (1885-1950) and George Hoyt Whipple (1878-1976), he is credited with developing a treatment for pernicious anemia using a diet of uncooked liver, for which all three were awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.  Murphy later worked throughout his career to refine the liver extract developed by Edwin Joseph Cohn (1892-1953) and George Richards Minot for the treatment of pernicious anemia.

Murphy’s papers are the product of his hematology research on pernicious anemia, leukemia, and diabetes mellitus, and his personal and professional activities throughout the period of his service at the Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Harvard Medical School, and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.  The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence regarding his professional appointments, his involvement in professional associations, patient cases, and medical advice to patients and colleagues.  Papers also include: research notes on blood disorders, primarily pernicious anemia and liver extract treatment; publications and newspaper clippings collected by Murphy for use in his research and medical practice; personal correspondence with family and friends; a bound copy of his book Anemia in Practice: Pernicious Anemia (1939); manuscript drafts for over forty of Murphy’s scientific papers; and a large number of unlabeled photographs of his family and domestic life, and of Murphy and his colleagues.

Processing of the collection was supported by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine’s Charles S. Minot Fund for Hematology.  The finding aid is available online.

William Dameshek Papers Open to Research

By , March 1, 2012

Riddle: What Do Aplastic Anemia, Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) and "Hypoplastic" Leukemia Have in Common?, by William Dameshek, 1967, B MS c117. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the William Dameshek papers are now open to research.  Dameshek (1900-1969), M.D., 1929, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, was Chief of the Blood Clinic at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (1928-1939), Senior Physician and Director of the Blood Research Laboratory at the New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts (1939-1966), Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (1939-1966), Hematologist in Chief at the Boston Floating Hospital and Boston Dispensary, Massachusetts (1939-1966), and Attending Hematologist  and Professor of Medicine  at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York (1966-1969).  Dameshek’s work encompassed many areas of hematology, including blood production and blood cell lysis, leukemia, bone marrow and bone marrow transplantation, the interrelation of blood disorders, coagulation disorders, and immunohematology.  He is credited with proposing a technique for bone marrow extraction using a needle, collaborating in the first known multi-institutional chemotherapy trial, and developing treatments for various autoimmune diseases.

Dameshek’s papers are a product of his hematology research on leukemia, anemia, blood diseases, and immunohematology and his subsequent publishing activities.  The bulk of the papers contain chapter manuscripts from his textbook Leukemia (1964, 1974) and Leukemia-related correspondence between William Dameshek and co-author Frederick Gunz (1914-1990).  Papers also include publication and research correspondence, typed manuscripts and article reprints authored by Dameshek, and publications collected by Dameshek to support his research on thymoma and pure red-cell aplasia, hyperplasia, immunology, chloramphenicol therapy, immunologic thrombocytopenic purpura, and anemia.  Additional writings and reprints by Dameshek concern anemia, leukemia, mononucleosis, chloramphenicol, and immunoproliferative disorders.

Processing of this collection was supported by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine’s Charles S. Minot Fund for Hematology.  The finding aid is available online.

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