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Flexner, Simon

Born: 1863 AD
Died: 1946 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Pathologist, Physicians

1863 – Born on March 25th in Louisville, Kentucky. American pathologist and bacteriologist who isolated a common strain (Shigella dysenteriae) of dysentery bacillus and developed a curative serum for cerebrospinal meningitis.

1882 – Simon Flexner attended public school in Louisville and was apprenticed to a druggist who sent him to the Louisville College of Pharmacy, from which he was graduated.

1889 – He worked in his eldest brother’s drugstore and studied medicine at the University of Louisville, receiving the M.D. degree.

1890 – Simon went to Baltimore to study pathology and bacteriology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital with William Henry Welch, who gave him a fellowship.

1891-1892 – He became associate professor of pathology, when the Johns Hopkins Medical School opened, Welch made him his first assistant in the department of pathology.

1893 – He visited Europe, working with Friedrich von Recklinghausen in Strassburg, and also visited Prague.

1895 – Flexner became resident pathologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, teaching pathological anatomy.

1898 – He was appointed full professor of pathological anatomy at Johns Hopkins University.

1899 – Following the acquisition of the Philippine Islands by the United States, Flexner and two medical students, one of them Llewellys Frederick Barker, spent several months in Manila studying health conditions.

1901 – When bubonic plague broke put in California, the federal government sent Flexner to San Francisco to study the epidemic.

         – Flexner was appointed to the institute’s board of scientific directors, which was composed of seven eminent medical men and headed by his friend and mentor William H. Welch.

         – Flexner was elected member of the American Philosophical Society

1902 – Flexner was chosen to lead a department of pathology and bacteriology in the institute, and soon he established himself as head of the whole enterprise.

1903-1906 – At the Rockefeller Institute, experimenting on Monkeys, he developed a promising serum treatment for the disease, which he used extensively during the epidemic of cerebrospinal meningitis that hit New York.

         – Flexner married Helen Whitall Thomas, member of a prominent Quaker Family of Baltimore.

1908 – Member of the National Academy of Sciences.

1910 – When poliomyelitis was epidemic in New York, Flexner and his assistants determined the way in which the virus is transmitted and showed that it enters the body through the nose, attacking the olfactory nerve.

1919 – Was a foreign member of the Royal Society.

1920 – Flexner was head of the institute.

1935 – He quietly resigned the directorship of the Rockefeller Institute.

1939 – His discovery earned Domagk the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

         – He wrote The Evolution and Organization of the University Clinic.

1946 – Died on May 2nd in New York.