Name and location of repository
Level of description
Robert E. Shank Papers
- 1946-1980 (Creation)
74.00 Linear Feet
Name of creator
Robert E. Shank (1914-2000) was a graduate of Washington University School of Medicine, Class of 1939, and a resident at Barnes Hospital (1939-1940) and at St. Louis Isolation Hospital (1941). In late 1941 he became an assistant in research and resident physician at the hospital of the Rockefeller Institute in New York. While retaining these positions, Shank entered the U.S. Navy in 1942 and was assigned to the hospital's Naval Research Unit. Returning to civilian life in 1946, he became an associate of the New York Public Health Research Institute. In 1948 Shank was called to his alma mater in 1948 to become Danforth Professor of Medicine and head of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health.
As head of Preventive Medicine, Shank brought a new research emphasis to his department, that being nutrition studies. He contributed to many projects in this specialty of national and international importance. He was particularly associated with the formation of standards for minimum dietary allowances by the National Research Council Food and Nutrition Board. He served as a consultant to the U.S. Public Health Service, the Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense, the Pan American Health Organization, and several food industry associations. Under his leadership, the scope of the department broadened to include work in rehabilitation, health maintenance organizations, biostatistics, applied physiology, and lipid research.
Shank became professor emeritus in 1981. He proved to be the last regular head of the department: after five years under interim leadership, Preventive Medicine and Public Health was discontinued in January 1987 and its faculty and programs assigned to other departments, notably Internal Medicine.
Scope and content
The Robert E. Shank papers include correspondence, reports, documents, architectural plans, manuscripts, speeches, and conference proceedings. The files document his interests in nutrition, diet, rehabilitation, and hospital administration. Also notable among them are information on his direction of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and its programs. RES played a leading role in the construction of two Medical Center buildings, the Irene Walter Johnson Institute of Rehabilitation and the David P. Wohl, Jr. Memorial Clinics and in the development of the services housed there. RES’s papers also contain files on his work with the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army and government-sponsored nutrition programs in Latin America.
System of arrangement
Conditions governing access
The collection is open and accessible for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.
Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.
For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (email@example.com).
Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Gift of Robert E. Shank, 1980.
Immediate source of acquisition
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Rules or conventions
"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."
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