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Robert E. Shank Papers

  • FC034
  • Collection
  • 1946-1980

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.

Shank, Robert E.

Robert E. Shank Oral History

  • OH044
  • Collection
  • 6/27/1980

Shank discusses his student years at the Washington University School of Medicine and his research with Dr. David Barr; his research at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research during World War II; and his postwar research at the Public Health Research Institute for the City of New York. The conversation then focuses on the major research focus of Shank’s career – nutritional studies. Shank relates his experiences conducting nutritional study research in Newfoundland; the study of nutrition during war and the necessity of providing proper nutrition to troops; public health surveys conducted overseas under the auspices of the Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense (ICNND); and his experiences as participant and consultant to the Public Health Service and the Indian Health Service. Shank comments on the challenge of improving nutrition standards in developing countries with steadily increasing populations and the role of the National Research Council and the Food Nutrition Board in the development of standards of recommended dietary allowances of nutrients. He also discusses the growth of the vitamin industry, nutrition in prepared and baby foods, and obesity. The discussion then covers the development of the WUSM Department of Preventive Medicine while Shank was its head – the Irene Walter Johnson Institute of Rehabilitation, the Medical Care Group under its initial director Gerald Perkoff, the division of biostatistics, Health Care Research, applied physiology, epidemiology, and lipid research. Interviewed by Paul G. Anderson on June 27, 1980. OH044. Approximate Length 130 minutes.

Shank, Robert E.