Anti-paralysis Serum is Goal of Young Doctor’s Experiments
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Anti-paralysis Serum is Goal of Young Doctor’s Experiments

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On the fifth floor of New York City’s Bureau of Laboratories Building at the footh of Fifteenth street, surrounded by cages of white mice and rhesus monkeys, Dr. Maurice Brodie is concluding an experiment which promises to add the name of this young Jewish physician to the list of eminent Jewish scientists represented by men like Ehrlich, Metchnikoff and Loeb, whose discoveries have affected the lives of generations.

Dr. Brodie, who began his experiments with an anti-infantile paralysis serum in the department of bacteriology at McGill University in Montreal, has brought his work up to the point where he can innoculate human beings. Already he has injected vaccine, prepared from the spinal cord of his rhesus monkeys who were infected with infantile paralysis serum, into several of his colleagues at the laboratory and himself. Two Jewish girls are among his laboratory assistants who have submitted to the experiment; Misses Anna Goldberg and Judith Figarsky.


Results are so satisfactory, Dr. Brodie reports, that the next step, that of inoculating children, will shortly begin. Already letters are being received from eager parents all over the country who wish to have their children protected against future epidemics, and also from parents who mistake this preventive measure for a cure.

Dr. Brodie, who is barely thirty, is assistant professor of bacteriology at New York University and his experiments, which began in association with Dr. Alton Goldbloom, child specialist of Montreal, are being conducted on a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. He declares that credit for making his earlier work possible must go to Dr. Goldbloom. He did not start from rock-bottom, he says, but began where others had left off, and followed their trail.


The youthful discoverer of what will prove to be a tremendous boon to mankind, if he succeeds, was born in England of a Russian-Jewish father and a Jewish mother whose family had resided in Enguand for a long time. They came to Canada twenty years ago. Dr. Brodie’s father is still in the clothing business in Ontario. Dr. Brodie took his degree in medicine at McGill University in 1928. After two years’ interneship to acquaint himself with clinical medicine, he chose to go in for research work and studied the non-filterable viruses, among which are the germs of infantile paralysis, hydrophobia and diphtheria.

Dr. Brodie came to New York from McGill University and joined New York University’s teaching staff last September. Reports of his work had spread before him and provision was made by the City of New York and the Rockefeller Foundation to enable him to finish his invaluable experiments in suitable surroundings and with the proper facilities.


Tests on humans and animals have shown that Dr. Brodie’s vaccine does not produce even a temporary phase of the disease, such as result in the case of smallpox vaccinations. Nevertheless, it sets up a resistance in eighty to ninety per cent of the animals vaccinated, which acts as a defense from the poliomyelitis virus from any source. Even if it prevents infantile paralysis in sixty or seventy per cent of those injected with the serum, it will be regarded as a triumph for medicine.

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