Posts tagged: viral etiology of cancer

The Francesc Duran i Reynals Papers are open for research

By , May 27, 2016

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Francesc Duran i Reynals Papers, 1913-1960. Francesc Duran i Reynals (1899-1958), M.D., University of Barcelona, Spain, was a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology at the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Duran i Reynals was known for research regarding the viral etiology of cancer and the mechanisms of spread of infectious diseases and cancer.

Duran i Reynals’s experiments related to the viral etiology of cancer, looking at the responses of the ground substances of tissues and necrotizing and tumor-producing cancers. He demonstrated the capacity of the Rous virus to adapt to different types of bird by the infection of embryos or recently hatched birds. These experiments led to the idea of the increased sensitivity of very young animals to tumor-producing viruses, which in turn has led to the detection of viruses causing leukemia and other tumor diseases in mammals. These experiments 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. Duran i Reynals was a consultant for multiple professional organizations as well, including the American Cancer Society, the National Research Council’s Panel on Viruses, Committee on Growth, and the United States Public Health Service. For his research, he was awarded medals from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France; the University of Liege, Belgium; and the University of Brussels, Belgium. He won the Claude Bernard Medal of the University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and the 1952 Anna Fuller Memorial Prize, Yale University, for his research on viruses in relation to cancer. After his death, he was given the Public Health Cancer Association of America award in 1958.


The papers contain files relating to his professional activities, correspondence with peers on the topics of his research, scientific experiments, and proposed research by others, raw and analyzed research data, including illustrations and images, as well as materials relating to his writings and publications and a group of research reference files containing citations for texts used to develop research projects.

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 Frances Duran i Reynals papers, the project will has already opened the Bernard D. Davis papers, and will open the following  collections of other scientists and professors whose work relates to the origins of molecular genetics, virology, and microbiology: the Luigi Gorini papers, 1922-1988; the Arthur B. Pardee papers, 1949-2001; the Myron Essex papers, 1949-1996; the Harold Amos papers, 1949-2003; and the Dennis L. Kasper papers, 1971-2013. For more information on the project, please contact Emily Novak Gustainis, Deputy Director, or Elizabeth Coup, Processing Assistant.

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