Feldman, Harry Alfred (1914-1985)

views updated

Feldman, Harry Alfred (1914-1985)

American physician and epidemiologist

Harry A. Feldman's research in epidemiology , immunology , infectious disease control, preventive medicine, toxoplasmosis , bacterial chemotherapeutic and sero-therapeutic agents, respiratory diseases, and meningitis was internationally recognized in the scientific community of microbiology and medicine.

Feldman was born in Newark, New Jersey on May, 30, 1914, the son of Joseph Feldman, a construction contractor, and his wife Sarah. After attending public schools in Newark and graduating from Weequahic High School in 1931, he received his A.B. in zoology in 1935 and his M.D. in 1939, both from George Washington University. He completed an internship and residency at Gallinger Municipal Hospital, Washington, D.C., held a brief research fellowship at George Washington, then in 1942, became a research fellow at Harvard Medical School and an assistant resident physician at the Boston City Hospital's Thorndike Memorial Laboratory. Among his colleagues at Thorndike was Maxwell A. Finland (19021987), who at the time was among the nation's premier investigators of infectious diseases. From 1942 to 1946, Feldman served to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Medical Corps.

As senior fellow in virus diseases for the National Research Council at the Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio, Feldman collaborated with Albert B. Sabin (19061993) on poliomyelitis and toxoplasmosis from 1946 to 1948. Together they developed the Sabin-Feldman dye test, which uses methylene blue to detect toxoplasmosis in blood serum by identifying immunoglobulin-G (IgG) antibodies against the parasitic intracellular protozoan, toxoplasma gondii.

In 1948, Feldman was appointed associate professor of medicine at the Syracuse University College of Medicine, which in 1950 became the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center College of Medicine. From 1949 to 1956, he also served in Syracuse as director of research at the Wieting-Johnson Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. In 1955, Upstate named him associate professor of preventive medicine. The following year he was promoted to full professor and in 1957, became chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine, the position he held until his death. Between 1938 and 1983, he published 216 research papers, both in scientific journals and as book chapters. With Alfred S. Evans (1917-1996), he co-edited Bacterial Infections of Humans (1982).

Besides his groundbreaking work on toxoplasmosis, both with Sabin in Cincinnati and later as head of his own team in Syracuse, Feldman regarded his work on meningococcus and on parasitic protozoa such as acanthamoeba as his greatest contributions to science. Among the diseases he studied were malaria , pneumonia , rubella, measles , influenza , streptococcal infections, and AIDS . He conducted extensive clinical pharmaceutical trials and served enthusiastically as a member of many scientific organizations, commissions, and committees, including the World Health Organization (WHO ) expert advisory panels on bacterial diseases, venereal diseases, treponematoses, and neisseria infections. He was president of the American Epidemiological Society (AES), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. The AES established the Harry A. Feldman Lectureship and the Harry A. Feldman Award in his honor, and the IDSA also created its own Harry A. Feldman Award.

See also Antibody and antigen; Bacteria and bacterial infection; Chemotherapy; Epidemiology; Infection and resistance; Meningitis, bacterial and viral; Microbiology, clinical; Parasites; Poliomyelitis and polio; Protozoa; Serology

About this article

Feldman, Harry Alfred (1914-1985)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article