In 1946 A. Ashley Weech, MD, addressed the graduating class of the UC College of Medicine: “The science of war has left a legacy to the science of peace.” Dr. Weech went on to recount some of the College’s most impressive medical advances that both facilitated the war effort and had lasting peacetime impact.
- Samuel Rapoport and Paul Hoxworth of the Blood Bank devised new methods for the preservation of blood, allowing it to be shipped to any region of the world.
- When the manufacture of great quantities of high octane gasoline became necessary, Robert Kehoe of the Department of Industrial Physiology developed field methods for removing gasoline and lead compounds from drinking water and methods for measuring in air the oxides of nitrogen, a hazard from gunfire.
- Mont Reid, William Altemeier, and Max Zinninger of the Department of Surgery showed the futility of sprinkling infected wounds with sulfa drugs and the importance of sound surgical principles. Their methods reduced case fatality rates for penetrating abdominal wounds from 40 to 60 percent to 8 or 9 percent.
- Albert Sabin of the Department of Pediatrics led research that resulted in vaccines for Japanese B encephalitis and that made great strides in vaccines for two other tropical diseases, sandfly fever and dengue fever. The U.S. War Department conferred on him the Legion of Merit.
- Merlin Cooper and Frederick Barnes of the Department of Pediatrics helped to develop a vaccine for bacillary dysentery, the scourge of army camps.
- Milan Logan of the Department of Biochemistry and William Altemeier of the Department of Surgery developed immunizing agents against the major germs that lead to gas gangrene in penetrating wounds.
- William Altemeier was the first to show that in most cases acute osteomyelitis is best treated with penicillin without surgery.