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Materia medica has always been considered one of the fundamental subjects to be included in the curriculum of a medical school. Accordingly, when the Department of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Michigan was organized, one of the first chairs to be established was that of materia medica.

Jonathan Adams Allen (Middlebury ‘45, M.D. Castleton Medical College ‘46) was appointed Professor of Pathology and Physiology in January, 1850, and the first medical students came in October of that year. Inasmuch as materia medica, as it was then taught, did not require a previous training in physiology but was closely allied to chemistry, it was given early in the medical course. The first class consisted of ninety-one students and five special students. The Catalogue of 1850-51 contained the statement that clergymen, lawyers, and medical graduates might enroll as “honorary” medical students. In 1852-53 the duties of Registrar of the Faculty of the Department of Medicine and Surgery were added to those of Allen’s professorship, and the next year his title was changed to Professor of Therapeutics, Materia Medica, and Pathology.

In 1854 Alonzo Benjamin Palmer (M.D. College of Physicians and Surgeons [N. Y.] ‘39, A.M. hon. Nashville ‘55, LL.D. Michigan ‘81) was appointed Professor of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Diseases of Women and Children; he retained this title until 1861, when for one year he held another composite chair as Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine and Pathology. The University Catalogue of 1852-53 directed that students be examined in anatomy, physiology, materia medica, and chemistry.

The beginnings of the materia medica museum were indicated in the Catalogue of 1857-58, in the following statement:

Instruction in Materia Medica is greatly increased by importation from Paris of an extensive “suit” of rare and pure chemicals and of the various articles of organic materia medica put up in a beautiful and uniform style. Specimens of crude materia medica are constantly being added.

Many of these specimens are still in the department (1940), and the story connected with them, as related by Cushny, is not without interest. They were ordered in 1825 from Paris, by the University of Louisiana. When they were ready for shipment that university, having gone into bankruptcy, could not pay for them, and they were bought by the University of Michigan. The jars were each labeled with the name of the specimen, and “University of Louisiana” was permanently etched or painted on the inside of the jar, but on the outside of each is a small slip of paper, with “Michigan” printed upon it, pasted over the word “Louisiana.” The specimens are of interest from the historical point of view only.

The museum was referred to in subsequent University catalogues, and it evidently was considered of some importance. The 1873-74 Calendar spoke of the “beautiful glass-covered half gallon jars, of uniform appearance, finely displayed … besides about one thousand other specimens of Simple Mineral and Vegetable Substances arranged in groups convenient for study.”

In 1861 Samuel Glasgow Armor (M.D. Missouri Medical College ‘44, LL.D. Franklin ‘72) was appointed Professor of Institutes of Medicine and Materia Medica. Armor occupied the chair until 1868, when Henry Sylvester Cheever (‘63, A.M. ‘66, ‘67m) was made Lecturer on Therapeutics and Materia Medica. In 1870 Dr. Cheever was appointed Professor of Therapeutics and Materia Medica, and in 1872 the words “and Physiology” were added to his title.

During these years, the textbooks of Biddle, Waring, and Ringer were recommended, and, in addition, the following were recommended for special subjects; Headland, The Action of Medicines, Anstie, Stimulants and Narcotics, and Harley, The Old Vegetable Narcotics.

Frederic Henry Gerrish (Bowdoin ‘66, A.M. ibid. ‘67, M.D. Medical School of Maine ‘69, LL.D. Michigan ‘05) was associated with Cheever in the department, in 1873-74, as Lecturer on Therapeutics, Materia Medica, and Physiology. In 1874 Gerrish was appointed Professor of Therapeutics, Materia Medica, and Physiology, in place of Cheever, who was on leave of absence from the University because of poor health. Cheever resigned in March, 1876.

In 1876 George Edward Frothingham (‘64m) was appointed Professor of Materia Medica, Ophthalmology, and Aural Surgery; his title was expanded in 1880 to include clinical ophthalmology, and he continued to occupy this chair until 1889.

When an optional third year of medical study was first offered, in 1876, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and materia medica were still being given in the first year of the three-year curriculum, but these subjects were reviewed in the second year, and examinations upon them might be passed at the end of that year. Two courses of lectures in materia medica were given, each course containing sixty lectures.

Since Frothingham’s professorship was a rather comprehensive one, it is not surprising that he had an assistant as early as 1880. Dr. Fred N. Baker (B.S. Cornell ‘78, Michigan ‘80m) acted as his assistant in 1880-81. The name of Dr. John G. Kennan (Western Reserve ‘79, Michigan ‘81m) appeared in the Calendar of 1881-82 with the title, Assistant to the Professor of Materia Medica and Ophthalmic and Aural Surgery.

In 1882 Dr. Kennan was succeeded by Dr. Harold Gifford (Cornell ‘79, Michigan ‘82m, A.M. hon. ‘12); in 1883 the post was occupied by Dr. Charles Marshall Frye (‘82m), who was succeeded in 1884 by Dr. Arthur E. Owen.

The name of Victor Clarence Vaughan (Mt. Pleasant College [Mo.] ‘72, Ph.D. Michigan ‘76, ‘78m, LL.D. ‘00) appeared in the list of those teaching in the department in 1883-84, when to his duties as Professor of Physiology and Pathological Chemistry were added those of Associate Professor of Therapeutics and Materia Medica. Vaughan was associated with the department for three years with this title; Dr. Owen remained as his assistant for two years and then was succeeded by Dr. John Heman Andrus (‘85m).

In 1887 Dr. Conrad Georg, Sr. (‘72m), was appointed Instructor under Dr. Frothingham, and Dr. Thomas Charles Phillips (‘85, ‘87m) was Assistant. The following year (1888-89) was the last in which Dr. Frothingham remained with the department. In 1889-90 Dr. Georg took entire charge of instruction in the subject. This was an important year in the history of the department, as it was the last in which the old subject of materia medica was taught as such, for in the following year the new subject of pharmacology was brought to this country, and to the University, by John Jacob Abel. In the last year under Georg, Materia Medica was a course completed in the first year, and Therapeutics was given in the second year.

Pharmacology in the modern sense in the University of Michigan may be said to date from July, 1890, when the Regents established the chair of materia medica and therapeutics in the Department of Medicine and Surgery and appointed John J. Abel to this new chair as Lecturer, at an annual salary of $2,000. In June, 1891, Abel was appointed Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics. The Regents chose to retain the old title of materia medica and therapeutics for the new chair rather than to adopt the name “pharmacology.” In this way they linked the new science with the old historical subject which had been taught in this school since it was opened in 1850, and with the name which had been employed to designate this older subject since the days of Dioscorides.

John Jacob Abel (‘83, M.D. Strassburg ‘88) was born in Cleveland in 1857. Before his graduation from the Literary Department of the University in 1883, he withdrew to become principal of the LaPorte High School, LaPorte, Indiana, for three years. When he returned, while finishing his senior work, he was an assistant to Victor C. Vaughan during the first semester and to Henry Sewall, Professor of Physiology, in the second. He then went abroad and studied in various European universities. While still engaged in these studies, in 1888-89, he received a cablegram from Vaughan offering him the professorship of pharmacology in the Department of Medicine and Surgery. Acting on the advice of the biochemist, von Nencki, of Bern, with whom he was working at the time, he accepted the call and arranged to begin his new duties in January, 1891. In his first lecture he told of his recent visit to Berlin, where he had spent some weeks investigating the new remedy, tuberculin, which Koch had recently introduced for the treatment of tuberculosis.

Dr. Abel’s first task was to fit up a laboratory, inasmuch as there had never been any provision made for experimental work in the old Department of Materia Medica. Not only was there no room, but there was not a single piece of apparatus, not even a piece of glassware. He finally secured a small room with a sloping ceiling, situated in a corner of the rear of the old Medical Building under the lower amphitheater. The necessary glassware was borrowed from Professor Paul C. Freer of the Department of Chemistry, and the physiological apparatus was built partly by Dr. Abel, with the aid of his assistant, Archibald Muirhead, and partly by the University mechanics. For the remainder of the year he lectured for an hour daily to a class that included, besides the medical students, the students in pharmacy and in dentistry. As it was not found satisfactory to include the dental and pharmacy students in the same class with the medical students, a separation was effected, and the following year the dental and pharmacy faculties assumed responsibility for the instruction of their own students in the subject.

During the academic year 1891-92 Abel was given additional laboratory space — a fairly large room in the southeast corner of the second floor of the Old Medical Building.

In the course of the year he organized a journal club, inviting ten to fifteen of the better students to meet with him at intervals to discuss more in detail than was possible in class and laboratory the various problems and aims of pharmacology. He was interested also in bringing a knowledge of pharmacology to the attention of practicing physicians. Accordingly, he arranged a lecture and demonstration for the physicians of Ann Arbor, and, later, a similar lecture and demonstration were given to the physicians of Detroit. These lectures were published in an article in the Pharmaceutical Era in 1891. The period of Dr. Abel’s service to the University of Michigan was destined not to be long, for in 1893, when the faculty of the medical school of Johns Hopkins University was being organized, he was invited to become one of its members as professor of pharmacology and professor in charge of physiological chemistry.

It is evident that, even though Abel’s term was short, his service to the Medical Department of the University was of the greatest importance. He was one of the first of the remarkable group of men that Dean Vaughan gathered from far and wide to form his faculty in the closing years of the nineteenth century. In Abel, Vaughan had the founder of the first department primarily for the teaching of pharmacology in this country. In him also he had a powerful supporter of his efforts to reorganize the Department of Medicine and Surgery upon a true University basis. This support was not confined to routine teaching and research activities, but was extended outside the lecture room to the Journal Club, the Scientific Club, and to medical men engaged in active practice.

After Abel’s resignation Dean Vaughan appealed again to Schmiedeberg, the professor of pharmacology at Strassburg, to send him a man to succeed Abel. Schmiedeberg recommended for the position one of his assistants, Arthur Robertson Cushny (A.M. Aberdeen ‘86, M. Surg. ibid. ‘89, M.D. ibid. ‘92, LL.D. Michigan ‘25). After his graduation from the University of Aberdeen he had been given a University fellowship to work with the physiologist Kronecker at Bern, and upon the completion of this year’s work, went to Strassburg, where he spent two years studying with Schmiedeberg.

Cushny came to the University in the fall of 1893 and remained here until, in 1905, he was called to University College, London, to organize the teaching of pharmacology in that institution.

Pharmacology at that time was a course given to the medical students in their junior year and consisted of daily lectures and demonstrations. Once a week the class was divided into two quiz sections, one being taken by Cushny and the other by his assistant. No laboratory course was required of the students, but early in his sojourn here Cushny, feeling the need of such instruction, developed a course which he offered to the students as optional work. This course was gradually developed as time went on and formed the basis of the laboratory course as it is now given. This was made a required part of the work shortly before Cushny went back to England.

The directions for the work in the optional course were given on mimeographed sheets. When the laboratory course was made a requirement for all the students these notes were given a temporary binding, each student securing his own copy. When Cushny decided to return to England the question was raised as to what would be the fate of these notes. It was possible that a new man might develop his own course; thus the outline which had been developed through the twelve years of the Cushny regime might be lost. It seemed wise, therefore, to put the material into permanent form, and this was accomplished by Cushny and his assistant. The first edition of the resulting volume, A Laboratory Guide in Experimental Pharmacology, by Edmunds and Cushny, was published by George Wahr, of Ann Arbor, in 1905. The guide has been revised and enlarged from time to time, but the name of Cushny still appears upon the title page.

The textbook problem was not confined to the laboratory course, for in 1893 there was not a single textbook on pharmacology in the English language which was suitable for medical students. The standard textbook on pharmacology in Europe was Schmiedeberg’s Grundriss der Pharmakologie. Cushny felt the great need of a book of this character and accordingly set himself the task of writing one. The work had to be done mainly in the evenings, and the labor involved may be judged by the fact that it was all written in longhand, for Cushny did not use a typewriter. The first edition of A Textbook of Pharmacology and Therapeutics contains 730 pages. He took seven years to write it. The book set a high standard not only from the scientific standpoint but from the literary viewpoint as well. The first edition, appearing in 1899, was followed at intervals of about three years by revisions made necessary by the new developments in the subject, so that when Cushny died early in 1926 the book was in the eighth revision and was one of the standard works on pharmacology used by students in medical schools throughout America and Great Britain. Since Cushny’s death this textbook has, as occasion demanded, undergone several revisions at the hands of J. A. Gunn, of the University of Oxford, and C. W. Edmunds, of the University of Michigan.

Cushny’s devotion to research work yielded rich results during his years of residence in Ann Arbor and added greatly to his own reputation and to the prestige of the University. The scope of his studies is indicated by the bibliography of his Ann Arbor years. It is both interesting and profitable, however, to mention somewhat more in detail certain of his studies which attracted wide attention.

His monograph on the action of digitalis on the mammalian heart was a contribution of first importance. About the same time, in the late nineties, he published the results of his studies upon the irregularities of the heart. This paper recounted the results of what was without doubt the most important special study of cardiac irregularities which had appeared in America to that time. It was very largely his experience in making the study which enabled him in 1902 to make a diagnosis of “auricular fibrillation” in the case of a hospital patient who was exhibiting marked paroxysmal irregularity. This suggestion, upon being transmitted later to Dr. Mackenzie and to Sir Thomas Lewis, led to the establishment of this cardiac disorder as a clinical entity.

Equally important was Cushny’s study of kidney physiology. His work in this field was really the beginning of the modern approach to this topic and did much to bring once more into the foreground the almost neglected Ludwig theory of the mechanism of urinary secretion. The study may perhaps be said to have culminated in his monograph entitled The Secretion of the Urine (1917; 2d ed., 1926).

Another field in which Cushny made a notable contribution was that of investigation of the action of optical isomers. The study, in which the effect of the optical activity of a substance upon its action in the body was investigated, is generally considered to be one of his most important contributions to medical science, ranking with his exhaustive studies on the action of the digitalis glucosides. The results of his studies upon the action of optical isomers were incorporated in his Dohme memorial lectures, given at Johns Hopkins University. They later appeared in book form, entitled Biological Relations of Optically Isomeric Substances.

In addition to the three major studies Cushny entered upon a number of other fields during his twelve years in Ann Arbor. A word should be added as to his relation to the important subject of the biological assay of drugs, which has attained such widespread importance in the past thirty years. It was Cushny who first suggested making use of animals to test the relative activity of different preparations of the same drug. This method of testing had special application in the case of digitalis. The wide differences in the activity of various preparations of this drug were well recognized, but no way was known of avoiding them, because of the nature of the active principles of the drug. One of Cushny’s assistants, Dr. Elijah M. Houghton (Ph.C. ‘93, ‘94m) was studying the problem, trying to devise some chemical method of standardization, but without success. Cushny suggested to Houghton that he might study the relative effect of different preparations of digitalis upon frogs and learn whether it might not be possible to utilize these animals for his purpose. The trial was successful, and in the late nineties the method was introduced into commercial practice. Since then the principle has been gradually extended to other drugs, so that now many drugs such as ergot, pituitary, and epinephrine preparations are assayed by biological means. The method was first introduced into the United States Pharmacopoeia in 1915 and has now been incorporated into the British Pharmacopoeia as well as into the pharmacopoeias of some other countries. It is not generally known that Cushny was the father of the idea.

An additional word should perhaps be given regarding Cushny’s teaching. His daily lectures, interspersed with demonstrations, were models of a clear, concise presentation of his subject. Although he was a large, well-built man, he always spoke in a low tone so that during his lectures the amphitheater was absolutely quiet in order that none might miss what he was saying. His optional laboratory course was without doubt the first course of its kind given in this country. First offered in 1903-4, it probably was not the first such course required in this country, for Professor Charles W. Greene claims that honor for the University of Missouri.

In 1925, after an absence of twenty years, Cushny returned to Ann Arbor at the invitation of the University to receive the honorary degree of doctor of laws. He maintained that these few weeks in Ann Arbor were the happiest of his life. Early the following year, at his new home in Edinburgh, where he had moved in 1918, he had a stroke and died a few hours later on February 25, 1926, at the age of sixty.

The Medical School and, in particular, the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, owe a great debt to Abel and Cushny, and also to Dean Vaughan, who was responsible for bringing them to Ann Arbor. The wisdom of Vaughan’s choice is shown by the subsequent careers of both men. During the sixteen years of their connection with the school they put the study of pharmacology upon such a firm foundation that its position in the Medical School has never been questioned. Because of the favorable beginning of the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics the successor to these two men has never had to fight for his academic life, as have heads of similar departments in certain other schools, where a new subject such as pharmacology has had a very strenuous fight for existence.

When Cushny left for London during the spring vacation of 1905 Charles Wallis Edmunds (‘04, ‘01m), who was then Instructor in the department, was asked by the Dean to carry on the work of the department until the end of the year. Horace John Howk (‘07m), of Rochester, New York, one of the medical students, was appointed to assist in the teaching.

At the end of the year the Regents, upon recommendation of President Angell and the medical faculty, appointed Edmunds head of the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, with the title of Lecturer on Materia Medica and Therapeutics — the same title which had been given Abel in 1890. Two years later, in 1907, Edmunds was appointed Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics. In later years the phrase “Director of the Pharmacological Laboratories” was added to the title; this was changed in 1937 to Chairman of the Department of Materia Medica.

Following his appointment in the early summer of 1905 Edmunds left at once for Europe, and, after stopping to see Cushny in London, went on to Heidelberg, where Professors Gottlieb and Magnus were teaching pharmacology, and studied during the summer. Returning to Ann Arbor in the fall Edmunds took up the work of the department. He was assisted by Dr. William Worth Hale (‘08, ‘04m), who remained in the department for three years. Hale went to the hygienic laboratory of the Public Health Service at Washington, as assistant pharmacologist in 1908, and in 1913 to Harvard Medical School as assistant professor of pharmacology. In Cambridge he was associated with Professor Reid Hunt, who had left the hygienic laboratory at Washington at the same time, to take the headship of the Harvard Department of Pharmacology. Hale was appointed associate professor and assistant dean of the Harvard Medical School in 1918.

During the three years of Edmunds’ association with Hale (1905-8), the general plan of the teaching of pharmacology was not changed essentially from that adopted by Cushny — lectures by the head of the department and weekly quizzes to the class, in two sections. The laboratory course was also given to the sophomore students, the class being divided into sections. The space in the old Medical Building reserved for the teaching of pharmacology remained the same during those years. The room under the amphitheater on the first floor (originally occupied by Abel and Cushny) was given to the assistant as an office, and all of the second floor of the main part of the building was devoted to pharmacology. The entire north side of this part of the building, comprised of two long, narrow rooms, was devoted to the laboratory course. On the south side of the east-west hall were three rooms, the largest of which, toward the east end of the building, was used for a private research room. The small, intermediate room was occasionally used for research, and the small room at the rear served as an office for the head of the department.

In 1910 a change in the departmental quarters was necessitated by the fear that the old Medical Building, in which the department had been housed for so many years, might not be entirely safe for class purposes. The old Chemical Building to the west of the Medical Building had been vacated recently by the chemists; the north section of it was therefore turned over to the departments of Physiology and of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, and extensive changes were made to render it fit for use. These changes included the building of an amphitheater in the east end of the old building, the construction of suitable animal quarters on the top floor, and minor alterations throughout. As soon as these were completed Dr. Lombard took the second and part of the third floor for the Department of Physiology, and the first floor and part of the basement were assigned to the teaching of pharmacology.

Immediately after World War I the classes became too large for the amphitheater, and the laboratory was greatly overcrowded. A floor was built between the two stories where the amphitheater had been, and the new space then available was appropriated for additional laboratory facilities. When the East Medical Building was finished in the mid-twenties the Department of Physiology moved out of the old Chemistry Building (Pharmacology Building) and the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics has since occupied the entire north wing, except for the laboratory on the east end of the second floor. A part of the rear was the first building erected by a University as a chemical laboratory in the United States. The front, or west, part of the building was erected in 1889, while Albert B. Prescott was Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the College of Pharmacy. The office occupied by the Professor of Materia Medica has served as an office for Prescott, for Professor E. D. Campbell, Director of the Chemical Laboratory, and also for Dean Julius O. Schlotterbeck and Dean A. B. Stevens of the College of Pharmacy.

Throughout these and the succeeding years, all the time of both the professor and the instructors which could be spared from teaching has been devoted to research problems, the scope of which is indicated in the bibliographies published by the University. Edmunds went abroad again in 1907, worked with Cushny in University College, London, and joined the English group of scientists who attended the International Congress of Physiologists in Heidelberg. He spent the summers of 1908 and 1909 in the hygienic laboratory at Washington, on problems concerning the biological assay of digitalis and ergot. His work on ergot, in the summer of 1909, was carried out in collaboration with William Worth Hale, who had joined the government service in the previous year. Edmunds’ connection with the hygienic laboratory at Washington was very important, for it led to a close collaboration between the laboratory at Ann Arbor and various national organizations, which has been of great value to the laboratory at Ann Arbor.

Because of his previous work on the biological assay of drugs Edmunds was asked to assume the chairmanship of a committee to make recommendations regarding the desirability of introducing such methods into the United States Pharmacopoeia, which was then undergoing revision (1910-20). As a result of these studies biological assays of certain drugs were introduced in Volume IX of the United States Pharmacopoeia, which was the first pharmacopoeia in the world to make such methods of assay obligatory. This led to a continuation of the University’s connection with the Pharmacopoeia and resulted in close cooperation between the Ann Arbor pharmacological group, the National Institute of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration at Washington. The laboratory group has furnished expert advice to the Federal Government from time to time through the years, and this led to the appointment of Dr. Erwin E. Nelson (Missouri ‘14, Ph.D. ibid. ‘20, Michigan ‘26m) of the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, first as a special expert upon certain biological problems and finally as head of the Division of Pharmacology in the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Agriculture. This position Nelson held for nearly two years, having obtained leave from the University for that purpose. Then, too, the laboratory has maintained a valuable connection with the American Medical Association through membership in the Council of Chemistry and Pharmacy. This council, in which Edmunds has held membership since 1921, exercises a certain control over the introduction into medical practice of the newer drugs of the more effective type. This control consists in ascertaining the exact nature of the drug, in regulating its potency and purity, and in supervising the advertising literature so as to exclude false claims for curative properties. The activities of the council have exerted a tremendous influence upon medical practice, and especially upon therapeutic practice, during the thirty-five years of its existence.

Edmunds has been chairman of the committee of the Council of the American Medical Association on grants to support research on problems connected with therapeutics. He has also been chairman of the Pharmacopoeial Advisory Board on Antianemic Preparations — a committee which has control over the potency claims which are made for all official liver and stomach preparations used for the treatment of primary anemia.

These and other connections of the department have proved to be of great value to the laboratory as a means of keeping the staff in close contact with outside movements and with the newer introductions into the field of therapeutics.

Dr. Hale was followed as Instructor by Dr. George Byron Roth (‘06, ‘09m), who remained at the University in the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics for four years (1909-13). Then he, too, joined the pharmacological group at the hygienic laboratory at Washington. He was made professor of pharmacology at George Washington University in 1924.

Roth was succeeded by Dr. Maurice Isadore Smith (College of the City of New York ‘09, M.D. Cornell ‘13), who served as Instructor in Pharmacology from 1914 to 1917, when he resigned in order to accept the professorship of pharmacology in the University of Nebraska. He later became the senior and principal pharmacologist in the National Institute of Health at Washington.

In 1919 Nelson was appointed Assistant Professor of Pharmacology. He became Professor of Pharmacology in 1936. During a part of his career in Ann Arbor he acted as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration at Washington. Nelson resigned from the University in 1937 to become professor of pharmacology at Tulane University Medical School.

Ralph Grafton Smith (Toronto ‘21, M.D. ibid. ‘25, Ph.D. Chicago ‘28) was appointed Instructor in Pharmacology in 1928 and advanced to a full professorship in 1937. Jacob Sacks (Chicago ‘22, Ph.D. Illinois ‘26, M.D. Northwestern ‘31) was appointed Instructor in Pharmacology in the department in 1932 and became Assistant Professor in 1937. John Howard Ferguson (Capetown ‘21, A.M. Oxford ‘31, M.D. Harvard ‘28) was appointed Assistant Professor in 1937.

In addition, the following taught in the department for short periods: Dr. Allan L. Richardson (‘08, ‘10m), Demonstrator of Anesthesia, 1912; John G. Gage (‘08m), 1916-17; Alvah R. McLaughlin (‘09 Lafayette, M.A. Princeton ‘14), 1923-25; Albert G. Young (Ph.D. Wisconsin ‘24, M.D. Harvard ‘28), 1925-28; Helen Bourquin (Colorado ‘15, Ph.D. Chicago ‘21), 1928-31; and Dr. A. R. McIntyre, 1931-32. Also, as assistants and fellows many advanced medical students have been employed in the laboratory.

In 1912 the Department of Anesthesia in the University Hospital was placed, for convenience of administration, under the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics. Dr. Richardson was Demonstrator of Anesthesia for the first year. After his resignation, Mrs. Laura Davis-Dunstone (R.N. ‘08) was placed in charge and held the position first as Demonstrator and later as Instructor. About 1930 the Department of Anesthesia was transferred to the Department of Surgery.

In 1910 the course Practical Therapeutics was instituted for the senior students. Dr. Mark Marshall (Earlham ‘02, Michigan ‘05, ‘08m) was appointed Instructor in Therapeutics and retained the position from 1910 to 1920. During the years, the teaching hours have been changed somewhat to make them conform to the changing requirements of the medical curriculum. The lecture course was cut from five hours a week to four, and then, in order to lighten the students’ load, to three hours a week for a year. This was made possible by the placing of a greater emphasis upon the laboratory course. The position of the lecture course within the medical curriculum was also changed, in that it was moved from the two semesters of the junior year to the second semester of the sophomore year and the first semester of the junior year. In 1940 the time allotted to pharmacology was ninety-six hours of lecture and ninety-six hours of laboratory work.

Research. — In addition to studies which have been made for the trustees of the United States Pharmacopoeia, “A Study of Strophanthins” and “The Potency of the U.S.P. Standard Digitalis Powder,” two problems have been attacked in a comprehensive manner. The first of these is the study of drug addiction. In 1929 the National Research Council was given a sum of money to study the opium problem. The drug-addiction committee of the council decided to make a study of morphine and allied natural and synthetic alkaloids, patterning the work somewhat after the study which has led to the introduction of novocaine (procaine) as a nonhabit-forming substitute for cocaine. In accordance with this plan, a chemical laboratory for the synthesis of the compounds was organized at the University of Virginia, and the invitation of the University of Michigan to have the study of the action of the compounds conducted here was accepted by the committee. Accordingly, in 1930, the work was started. Edmunds was fortunate in being able to secure Dr. Nathan Browne Eddy (M.D. Cornell ‘11), professor of pharmacology in the University of Alberta, to conduct the work. The study extended over a period of ten years, that is, until the summer of 1940, when the Federal Government assumed responsibility for it and transferred the unit to the National Institute of Health at Washington. During this period Eddy was assisted by Hugo Martin Krueger (Denver ‘24, Ph.D. Michigan ‘30), Margaret Sumwalt (Goucher ‘23, B.S. Washington University ‘25, Ph.D. Pennsylvania ‘29), Charles Ingham Wright (Middle-bury ‘26, Ph.D. Rochester ‘32), Robert H. K. Foster (Ohio State ‘23, Ph.D. Chicago ‘32), and a group of assistants. The work assumed extensive proportions. Some three hundred and fifty compounds were studied, and the most desirable of these, from the standpoint of lack of toxicity and of therapeutic efficiency, were selected for trial upon the human patient. This portion of the study was sponsored largely by the United States Public Health Service, by certain hospitals under the control of some of the state health departments, and by certain general hospitals, including the University Hospital at Ann Arbor. The results of the studies which were carried out in the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics of the University have been published in about one hundred articles which have appeared in various medical journals, chiefly in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. One monograph, edited largely by Eddy and entitled “Studies on Drug Addiction,” was published by the Public Health Service in 1938. An extensive review of the literature of the “Pharmacology of the Opium Alkaloids,” edited by Eddy, Krueger, and Sumwalt, was also prepared. The work which has been done by this group headed by Eddy has been of outstanding importance. It attracted wide attention, and, though it is unfortunate that it has been removed from Ann Arbor, it is gratifying that it has been taken over by the government.

The second extensive research problem was financed by the Kellogg Company of Battle Creek and was concerned with the relative effects of caffeine, coffee, and decaffeinated coffee. Katherine Horst (Iowa State College ‘17, Ph.D. Yale ‘31) was secured to supervise the study and she continued this work for about four years, until her unfortunate death in 1934. This work, in which Dr. Horst was assisted by medical students, was carried out upon human subjects, and the findings were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

It is hoped that the spirit of Abel and of Cushny has not departed from the department which they founded and where they carried on researches which added so much to the reputation of the Medical School and of the University.

Charles W. Edmunds [Died March 1, 1941.]


Announcement, Department of Medicine and Surgery [Medical School, 1915 — ] (title varies), Univ. Mich., 1850-1940.

Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914. (Cal.)

Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1848-71, 1914-23.

Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940.

University of Michigan Regents’ Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.

The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor, Volume II, Part V, pp. 845-855.

History of the University of Michigan

Department of

Materia Medica & Therapeutics