Cell Biology and Physiology Department Records


Reference code


Level of description



Cell Biology and Physiology Department Records


  • 1910- (Creation)


1.50 Linear Feet

Name of creator

Administrative history

The department was created as a result of the 1910 Flexner Report, which called for a complete overhaul of medical education in the United States. In response to this report, Joseph Erlanger was recruited to Washington University, where he served as Head of the Department of Physiology for 35 years until his retirement in 1946. Dr. Erlanger, together with his former student, Herbert Spencer Gasser, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1944 for the introduction of the oscilloscope to study electrical activity in the nerve, a technical breakthrough that led ultimately to the measurement of ionic currents and the mechanism of action potential.

The name of the department changed to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics under the leadership of Harvey White (1947-1964), John Josse (1964-1966) and Carlton C. Hunt (1967-1983). Beginning with Philip Stahl’s tenure (1984-2011), the department was called by its current name: Cell Biology and Physiology. Helen Piwnica-Worms assumed the position as head of this department on March 1, 2011., and it is currently headed by David W. Piston, PhD.

Scope and content

This small collection includes student PhD thesis and selected publications from the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology.

System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

The collection is open and accessible for research.

Technical access

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 (arb@wusm.wustl.edu).

Preferred Citation:

Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

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Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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Rules or conventions

"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."

Sources used

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. All rights reserved.

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