Memorandum from Michael Heidelberger to the United States Army, Office of the Surgeon General
After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Heidelberger was commissioned in the Sanitary Corp, where he was
assigned to the Section on Combating Venereal Diseases. As summarized in this monthly report, his duty was mainly to conduct
research on anti-syphilitics, research which dovetailed closely with the work on the chemotherapy of syphilis he had been
conducting with Walter A. Jacobs at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. He also mentioned his investigation of
the anti-bacterial properties of medically important quinoline alkaloids (such as quinine) derived from the bark of South
American Cinchona trees.
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1918-04-30 (April 30, 1918)
United States Army. Office of the Surgeon General
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From: 1st Lieut. Michael Heidelberger, San. Corps.
To: The Surgeon General of the Army.
Subject: Monthly Personal Report.
1. On duty April 1st to April 30th, 1918, reported to military director, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.
2. The work on which I am immediately engaged consists chiefly in the preparation of the new anti-syphilitc drug, "A 189"
for clinical uses. Work is also being continued on certain analogs of "A 189" in the hope that they may show still
greater therapeutic power.
3. In addition, studies are being conducted in the synthetic development of the group of Cinchona alkaloids in respect to
their bactericidal action on pneumococci. Over seventy Cinchona derivatives, mostly new, have been prepared and are being
studied experimentally for bactericidal and therapeutic power by Dr. Wollstein of this Institute.