The History of New York State
Book 12, Chapter 13, Part 10

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

The three departments of the institute are organized for research only. Under normal conditions they give no instruction to students and thus the institute absolves its staff of the necessity of devoting time and energy to teaching or to the consideration of subject and problems chosen in the students interest rather than because of their value and promise for the advancement of science.

The scope of the institute's work is wider than the study of problems whose solution has an immediate application to human pathology. It has, in fact, been the theory of the institute's organization that it can best serve medical science by devoting a great deal of attention to the investigation of fundamental biological, physical, and chemical subjects.

Laboratories in which these aspects of science as well as those of direct clinical importance have been constantly under investigation, and laboratories in which problems of general biological interest were chosen, have largely occupied certain of the scientific staff and have used a considerable share of the institute's annual budget. Furthermore, while the larger part of the research work of the institute is carried on in its laboratories in New York and Princeton, from time to time field expeditions are undertaken in the United States and elsewhere for the solution of special emergency problems.

The institute requires all who serve on its scientific staff to give full time to the work, permitting them to pursue no gainful occupations outside of its organization and paying to them a stipend fixed with reference to their complete devotion to whatever may be their special assignments.

While the various phases of research which are being carried forward at the institute are more or less independently conducted in several departments and divisions, it is aimed, as far as possible, through coordination and cooperation, to make them mutually helpful and stimulating. Thus through frequent symposia, by the common services of publication, illustration, library, and other accessory divisions, and the lunch room shared by the scientific staff, a gratifying and helpful community of interest is maintained.

It is not the aim of the institute to perpetuate the lines of investigation in which it may engage, or even departments and divisions, should the usefulness or promise of these at any time become doubtful, either from changes in the requirements and outlooks of science, or from lack of leaders of vision or achievement. On the other hand ,the elucidation of fundamental problems may proceed under favorable conditions and with adequate support for an indefinite period, unhurried and unhindered by the urgency of obviously practical or immediate results. The organization of the scientific staff of the institute is thus flexible and adaptable to the ever-shifting requirements of research.

All discoveries and inventions made by any person while receiving compensation from the institute become the property of the institute, to be placed freely by it at the service of humanity in accordance with the beneficent purposes of the founder.

The governing boards of the institute believe that the use of the lower animals fort he advancements of knowledge, the prevention of disease, and the saving of life is justifiable in the interest of the general welfare both of man and animals. Contrary to the assertion of certain groups, cruelties are not inflicted upon experimental animals, every effort being made to minimize discomfort or distress. The scientific staff conforms to this aim in all experiments upon animals and the chief of each laboratory is responsible for the actions of his assistants in this regard.

During the World War the entire staff and equipment were devoted to war service, especially in connection with researches in respect to the treatment of wounds, and diseases most frequent among soldiers. With the end of the war, the institute returned to its original field of research.

The organization of the institute provides for the maintenance of a series of auxiliary divisions in which center various phases of technical service to member of the scientific staff, thus relieving the latter of such personal routine as can be wisely delegated to specially trained persons.

The following auxiliary divisions are now in operation in the New York laboratories: Publication, illustration, library, and purchase and supply. In addition to these are the following auxiliary services: Section cutting, culture media, and sterilization, x-ray, animal house, power house, and the machine, instrument making, carpenter, and paint shops. The department of animal pathology at Princeton maintain a series of auxiliary divisions similar to these but less comprehensive in scope. Besides these organized agencies contributing to the efficiently and convenience of research, it is the aim of the institute, as far as practicable, to sustain the work of the scientific staff with technicians, adequate secretarial service, and competent personal laboratory helpers. Appointments to the scientific staff are made by the board of scientific directors, upon the recommendation of the director of one of the departments. The following grades are fixed by the rules of the board: member of the institute, associate member of the institute, associate, assistant, fellow. Appointments of members of the institute are made without limit of time; of associate members and associates for a term of years; while all other appointment are made for a term not exceeding one year.

Applications for appointment may be made at any time. Blank forms of application are furnished on request. Appointments are ordinarily made only as vacancies occur. They may be sought for the purpose of permanent or indefinite association with the institute, or for the purpose of temporary association with the institute with one of the following objects: experience in methods of investigation generally, training in a special line of investigation, or opportunity to work more or less independently on a particular problem. The qualifications for appointments to the scientific staff include preliminary training such as would be represented by an M. D., or a PH. D. degree, and, in addition, a knowledge of research, or a training such as would ordinarily be appropriate to the higher degree in the biological or physical sciences.

The work of the hospital at a particular time is limited to a small number of subjects. Bulletins are issued from time to time stating the forms of disease then the subject of study. Only patients suffering from one of these disease are admitted for treatment. They are admitted only by the resident physicians, to whom they are referred by physician or hospital, or to whom they may apply directly.

While making the fullest use of its opportunities for observation and study, the institute recognizes at all times the paramount right of the patient to receive the most effective treatment within the power of the attending physicians. A patient does not impair that right by the voluntary character of his application for admission.

Under the by-laws of the corporation, no charge for professional care or service rendered, or for board or lodging, can be made to persons treated at the hospital.

One of the important adjuncts of the institute is its department of publications. It publishes a "Semi-annual List" of all papers by the staff and those working under grants from the institute, stating the title and place of publication of these reports. This, upon request, will be sent regularly to interested persons.

Results of the investigations made under the auspices of, or with the cooperation of, or supported by the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research are first reported in a variety of publications. The reports are ultimately assembled in volumes designated "Studies from the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research."

The "Studies" appear serially but at irregular intervals. The first volume of the series was published in 1904, and by February, 1926, the fifty-fifth volume had appeared. Each volume contains about 600 pages. Beginning with the seventeenth volume, each is paged consecutively and is indexed. At present three or four volumes of the Studies appear annually.

"The Journal of Experimental Medicine," edited by Dr. Simon Flexner and Dr. Peyton Rous, is designed to cover the field of experimental medicine. It is a medium for the publication of investigations conducted at the institute, or elsewhere under its grants, and it also accepts contributions of a suitable character from other sources. It issued monthly, two volumes appearing in a year. During the last few years, each volume has contained more then 700 pages and many plates.

"The Journal of General Physiology," the first number of which appeared on September 20, 1918, is devoted to the explanation of life phenomena on the basis of the physical and chemical constitution of living matter. It was founded by Dr. Jacques Loeb and is now edited by Drs. W. J. Crozier, John H. Northrop, and W. J. V. Osterhout. It is issued bimonthly, one volume of about 600 pages appearing in a year. The editors invite contributions relating to the physiochemical explanation of life phenomena, in whatever field of science they may originate.

Under the head of :Monographs of The Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research" are published from time to time scientific papers which are so extensive, or require such elaborate illustrations, as to render them unsuitable for current periodical issues. The "Monographs" are published at irregular intervals, determined by the available material on hand.

The results of the institute's researches represent not only a series of remarkable scientific achievement, but have yielded an incalculable amount of benefit to suffering mankind. In the discovery of new remedies and improved treatments, as well as in the field of prevention, they have made new medical history.

Amongst the specific subjects in which researches have been carried on and regarding which valuable new material has been published, should be especially mentioned: Diarrheal disease of infancy, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, tumors, poliomyelitis, acute lobar pneumonia, botulism, pathology of pneumonia, diabetes, hookworm, soil pollution and spread of intestinal infections, typhoid carriers and typhoid immunity, and yellow fever. Many other subjects have also been investigated, too numerous to be mentioned here specifically. The results of these investigations have been published in the journals and other publications of the institute, and the extent of these researches may be gauged by the fact that the subject indexes listing these articles for the years of 1904 to 1924 over about 375 printed pages and contain many thousand of titles.

 

The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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