George Hoyt Whipple


George Hoyt Whipple Famous memorial

Ashland, Grafton County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 1 Feb 1976 (aged 97)
Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Burial Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Plot Ashes scattered (exact location uncertain)
Memorial ID 7938354 View Source

Nobel Prize Recipient. George Hoyt Whipple, pathologist, biochemical researcher and medical school educator, received international acclaim after being awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He shared jointly the coveted award with George Minot, and William Murphy and according to the Nobel Prize committee, "for their discoveries concerning liver therapy in cases of anemia." He received 29 nominations for the Nobel Prize candidacy. Anemia is a medical condition in which the amount of red blood cells in the blood is too low, and at times, can be fatal. His research led to the discovery that liver fed to anemic dogs reverses the effects of the anemia; this remarkable discovery led directly to successful liver treatment of pernicious anemia in humans. Like Minot, he was the son and the grandson of physicians. In 1880 his father died at age 28, in 1884 his grandfather died, and within two more years, his other grandfather died, thus leaving his mother and a grandmother to care for him. He attended the private school Phillips Academy before entering Yale University, graduating with a B.A. degree with honors in 1900. With limited funds, he taught school at a military academy for a year before continuing his education. He attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University from which he received the M.D. degree in 1905. After graduation, he accepted a position in the pathology department at John Hopkins. In 1907 for a year, he traveled to Panama, during the time of the construction of the Panama Canal, as a pathologist studying tropical diseases at the Ancon Hospital. A rare systemic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Traopheryma whipplei, Whipple's Disease was first described by him in 1907 and is commonly considered as a gastrointestinal disorder that can be fatal. In 1911 he traveled to Germany and Austria studying in several laboratories. Upon his returned to Baltimore, he advanced from the position of an Assistant, to an Instructor, Associate, and finally an Associate Professor in Pathology at The Johns Hopkins University. In 1914, he was appointed Professor of Research Medicine and Director of the Hooper Foundation for Medical Research at the University of California Medical School. He was dean of that medical school in 1920 and 1921. Leaving California in 1921, he became the Founder and Dean of the Medical School at University of Rochester in New York with the first class starting in 1925. He built a facility with the medical school and the hospital under one roof, which was a new concept. In 1963 he established a medical and dental library for the university valued at $750,000. Initially, he started his anemia research in California, but it was the research in Rochester that he received the Nobel Prize, and he was the first of many from this university to receive this coveted award. During World War II, he did pioneer research on protein nutriment, which would become PTN or Parenteral Nutrition Intravenous therapy. He served as the Dean until 1954 and remaining as Professor of Pathology for the rest of his life. From 1936 to 1953, he was a member of the Board of Scientific Directors of the Rockefeller Institute, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation from 1939 to 1953, Vice-Chairman of its Board of Trustees from 1953 to 1960, and in 1960 he was appointed Trustee Emeritus. Besides researching anemia, he studied tuberculosis, pancreatitis, chloroform poisoning in animals, the metabolism of pigments and iron, the constituents of the bile, the regeneration of plasma protein, protein metabolism by means of lysine, and various vitamins. He authored or co-authored at least 300 papers on his research with many being published in the “American Journal of Physiology.” He gave the name of thalassemia to the inherited Mediterranean anemia. He was a member of various learned societies and received honorary doctorate degrees from several colleges in the United States and Europe. Besides the Nobel Prize, he received the Popular Science Monthly Gold Medal and Annual Award with Dr. Minot in 1930 and the William Wood Gerhard Gold Medal of the Pathological Society of Philadelphia in 1934. He published an autobiography, “A Dozen Doctors.” He married and the couple had a son and a daughter. His birthplace is now the Whipple House and Museum and a New Hampshire State Historical Marker with a short biography was posted near the sidewalk.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 30 Sep 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7938354
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Hoyt Whipple (28 Aug 1878–1 Feb 1976), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7938354, citing Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .