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Authority record

Bigger, Isaac A.

  • Person
  • 1893-1955

Bigger was professor and chief of the Department of Surgery of the Medical College of Virginia from 1930-1955; he served as the 27th president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Bosher, Lewis H., Jr.

  • Person
  • 1914-2012

Lewis H. Bosher, Jr. was a physician who specialized in thoracic surgery. As a Virginia native, Bosher stayed in state to earn his bachelor's degree from University of Virginia in 1936 and then received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1940. Bosher started his career in medicine as an assistant resident at Bellevue Hospital, but WWII interrupted his residency. During the war, he was a staff member of the Army Medical Corps, the First General Hospital, the Fourth Auxiliary Surgical Group, and McGuire General Hospital. Bosher left the Army in 1946 with the rank of Major.

Bosher resumed his surgical residency at Medical College of Virginia (MCV) for a year, and completed postdoctoral training in general surgery at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts and in thoracic surgery at Barnes Hospital. Upon the completion of his studies, Bosher returned to MCV in 1950 as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery. He became a full professor in 1974 and retired from academic medicine to start a private practice in 1979. Known for his leadership, Bosher helped establish cardiac surgery programs at Chippenham and Henrico Doctors' Hospitals, and served in various roles for numerous medical organizations.

Sonnenwirth, Alexander C.

  • n79005678
  • Person
  • 1923-1984

Alexander C. Sonnenwirth was born in Oradea, Romania into a German-speaking Jewish family. In addition to German, Sonnenwirth learned Romanian, Hungarian, and Hebrew as a child. After completing his secondary education, Sonnenwirth went to Budapest to stay with relatives while he worked as a photographer. However, World War II shattered the world in which he and his family lived. Most of the Jews of Oradea, including Sonnenwirth's parents, were sent to death camps by the German invaders. Sonnenwirth escaped that fate, but was forced to serve in a labor gang for the duration of the war until he was rescued by Allied forces.

Immediately after the war, Sonnenwirth lived in a camp for displaced persons in Marburg, Germany. He was awarded a Hillel Scholarship which enabled him to come to the United States to study bacteriology at the University of Nebraska. After earning a Bachelor's degree in 1950, Sonnenwirth continued his studies at Purdue University where he graduated with a Master's of Science in 1953. While a student, he married Rosaline Soffer, and in 1953, the Sonnenwirths moved to St. Louis when he was appointed Assistant Director of the Division of Bacteriology at Jewish Hospital.

Sonnenwirth became the director of the division in 1955 and began doctoral studies in bacteriology at Washington University. Studying under Dr. Theodore Rosebury of the School of Dentistry, Sonnenwirth received his PhD in 1960. In addition to his duties at Jewish Hospital, Sonnenwirth served several academic appointments including Instructor of Bacteriology in the School of Dentistry (1958-1961) and as Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine for the Departments of Microbiology (1962) and Pathology (1968). In 1970, he was promoted to Associate Professor in the latter two departments and became a full Professor in 1977.

Sonnenwirth's scientific contributions included both 'pure' research and innovation in clinical technology. His chief research specialty was the study of anaerobic gram-negative bacilli. His enormous knowledge in this and related fields was expressed in the publication of over one hundred scientific papers and summarized in his editorship of the sixth, seventh, and eighth editions of Gradwohl's Clinical Laboratory Methods and Diagnosis (1963, 1970, 1980). He and his colleagues of the Microbiology Laboratory at Jewish Hospital were leading evaluators of new equipment and procedures, particularly of automated testing instrumentation.

Sonnenwirth was for many years a key participant in professional associations of microbiologists and their conferences, symposiums, and seminars. This activity included extensive travel within the U.S. and abroad. Sonnenwirth is remembered for his services to the American Society for Microbiology, having been among the organizers of the Clinical Microbiology Section in 1963 and its chairman from 1970 to 1973. Sonnenwirth was chosen by the American Society for Microbiology to receive its highest professional recognition, the Becton-Dickinson Award, in 1984.

Schlessinger, David

  • n88090782
  • Person
  • Born 1936

David Schlessinger was born in Toronto, Canada. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in 1956, Schlessinger received his doctoral degree from Harvard University in 1960, where he worked for DNA co-discoverer and Nobel laureate James Watson.

Following two years of postdoctoral training at the Pasteur Institute with another laureate, Jacques Monod, Schlessinger joined Washington University, where he served as professor of molecular microbiology, genetics and microbiology in medicine.

In 1997 he moved to the National Institutes of Health where he is an NIH Distinguished Investigator at the Laboratory of Genetics at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). In 2017 he received the Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.

Mackie, Anita

  • n88260181
  • Person
  • 1930-

Anita Whitney Mackie is a former assistant professor of preventive medicine at Washington University School of Medicine who spent the majority of her career working on health services and agricultural issues in Africa. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland IN 1930, Mackie holds degrees from McGill University (B. Sc. 1952), Cornell University (M.S., 1954), and Michigan State University (PH.D. Communications, 1962). She originally began her professional career as an agricultural economist in Nigeria for Stanford University and served on Nigerian relief in 1967-1968, but the Biafran War forced her return to the United States. At that point in 1970, she became a member of the Washington University School of Medicine faculty. At Washington University, Mackie acted as a liason between the medical center and the division of Health Care Research. She was assistant professor of Health care services in preventative medicine (communication). In the early 1970s, she was called back to Africa and spent the next two decades working with USAID and the Foreign Service in Chad. In her retirement years, Mackie has lived in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the U.S.

Sources: curriculum vitae, 1970; Washington University School of Medicine catalog, 1970/71-1973/74

Feigin, Ralph D.

  • Person
  • 1938-2008

Ralph Feigin (1938-2008) was a pediatrician best known for his influential book, Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, first published in 1981. He graduated from Columbia University and Boston University School of Medicine, and completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1965. Feigin spent the next two years conducting research for the U.S. Army and as the chief resident of the children’s service of Mass General before becoming a professor of pediatrics at Washington University in 1968. Feigin taught at Washington University until 1977, when he took a faculty appointment at Baylor College of Medicine as the chair of the department of pediatrics. At Baylor, Feigin transformed the school into an elite hospital for pediatric studies, served as the department chair from 1977 to 2008, and was the medical school’s president and CEO from 1996 to 2003. Also, Feigin was the Physician-in-Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital from 1977 to 2008. In addition to his famed publication, Feigin published Oski’s Pediatrics: Principles and Practice, and was the associate editor for the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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