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Dr Ruth L Kirschstein
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Birth: 1926
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Death: Oct. 6, 2009
Montgomery County
Maryland, USA

Scientist and Public Health Administrator

Dr. Kirschstein graduated magna cum laude from Long Island University in 1947 and earned her M.D. from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1951. After an internship in medicine and surgery at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, she took residency and fellowship training in pathology at Providence Hospital, Detroit; Tulane University School of Medicine; and the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She also received honorary degrees from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Long Island University, Atlanta University, the Medical College of Ohio, and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

From 1957 to 1972, her research at NIH helped develop and refine tests to assure the safety of viral vaccines for such diseases as polio, measles and rubella. Her work on polio led to the selection of Sabin vaccine for public use worldwide. She worked with the World Health Organization in 1965 as a member of their Expert Group on International Requirements for Biological Substances, and in 1967 as a consultant on the use of the live poliovirus oral vaccine. In 1974 she became the first woman institute director at NIH. As Deputy Director of NIH in the 1980s, she led the public health response to the emerging AIDS epidemic by organizing funding and mobilizing a team of NIH researchers to take on the task. She twice served as Acting Director of NIH - in 1993 and again in 2002.

Her role in American public health has been recognized by numerous honors and awards, including the U.S. Public Health Service Superior Service Award in 1978, the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 1980, both the PHS Special Recognition Award and the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award (the highest honor for a career civil servant) in 1985, the 1990 American Medical Association Dr. Nathan Davis Award, the 1993 Public Service Award from the Federation on American Societies for Experimental Biology, and the Women of Achievement Award from the Jewish Anti-Defamation League in 2000. The NIH renamed its National Research Service Award in her honor for her service to the nation and her commitment to future generations of scientists.
Created by: Star Kline
Record added: Oct 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42793079
Dr Ruth L Kirschstein
Added by: Star Kline
Dr Ruth L Kirschstein
Added by: Star Kline
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