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The Florence R. Sabin Papers

Letter from Charles A. Doan to Florence R. Sabin pdf (220,470 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Charles A. Doan to Florence R. Sabin
Charles Doan was one of Sabin's research fellows and collaborators at Johns Hopkins, and moved with her to the Rockefeller Institute in 1925. He worked in Sabin's lab until 1930, when he accepted a position at Ohio State University Medical School.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (220,470 Bytes)
1939-09-01 (September 1, 1939)
Doan, Charles A.
Sabin, Florence R.
Original Repository: Smith College. Sophia Smith Collection. Florence Rena Sabin Papers
Reproduced with permission of Ohio State University.
Exhibit Category:
At the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, 1925-1938
Box Number: 10
Folder Number: 4
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
September 1, 1939
Dear Dr. Sabin:
I was quite thrilled to receive your letter of acceptance to participate in the Hematologic Symposium here the last of December. Your title of "A Theory of the Relation of the Reticulo-Endothelial System to Antibody Formation" is excellent, and it shall so be included in the program.
I have just finished my written address on the Reticulo-Endothelial System to be read at Madison next Wednesday. During the past month I have surveyed everything practically that has been written in the past fifty years in this area, and I am more than ever convinced of the significance and the crucial character of your last contribution. I have made it the center and the climax of my entire discussion, having everything previously lead up to that, and all future progress as stemming from these very fundamental observations which you have reported. I shall send you a copy of the manuscript in due time.
As you may well imagine, we have been fascinated with the possibilities of continued work along the lines which would obviously spring from your work. Under the Comly Research Fund, I have set up for Dr. Ben Houghton a microcinematographic outfit which we have been using from the standpoint of accumulating motility information in the attempt to differentiate typical clasmatocyte and typical monocyte. It is a follow-up of the evidence which Arnold Rich and Mrs. Lewis presented last year at Atlantic City with reference to the separation of lymphoblast, myeloblast and monocyte. We are, of course, using this technic also in the study of leucosarcoma cells in tissue culture to compare and contrast with the lymphocytes of chronic lymphatic leukemia.
Now the thing that I naturally am thinking about, and have tentatively discussed with Dr. Houghton is the possibility of getting from Dr. Heidelberger some of the dye-protein which you used, and repeat the studies of Parker and Landsteiner in terms of explants of spleen or omentum following the injection of the antigen, and attempt to record cinematographically the shedding of the exoplasm of the phagocytic cells during the time when antibodies first appear in the circulating blood. As you probably know, I still cannot quite get away from the feeling that monocyte and clasmatocyte are distinct entities and that they respond specifically and separately under many of the variety of irritants or stimulants which come to the tissues, both naturally and experimentally introduced. On the other hand, if the evidence would justify the conclusion that two morphologically distinctive types do represent simply a difference in the metabolic state of activity of a common strain of cells, I should be more than happy to accept and support such a point of view.
The question, before any other or further steps are taken here, is whether you feel such a further development of the experimental work along these lines would be worth while, and whether the dye protein is too scarce and too difficult to make, for Dr. Heidelberger to be willing to furnish such material for this type of study in our laboratory.
Dr. Houghton is spending practically full time these coming months in the development of the observations which I have suggested since the perfection of the technic has been accomplished during the work of the past three months. I am relieving him of practically all routine and teaching duties because of the enthusiastic interest which I have in the possibilities in the research area at the present time.
The first of October we are receiving a Rockefeller Research Fellow from Lima, Peru, whom Dr. Hurtado is sending up for a two year training period in hematology, to return to Lima to join his group in the Medical School in the study of the anemia of Oroya fever and the other obscure anemias in Peru that have not begun to be analyzed as yet.
While all of the difficulties, administratively, have not by any means been solved here, yet we are going ahead from day to day with increasing enthusiasm in our research program, hoping against hope that there will not come the "show down" with armed conflict such as has finally climaxed the European situation within the last twenty-four hours. We are still in the stage in the university situation here of the "war of nerves".
I knew that you were being invited to speak at Memphis, and I think it fine that you have accepted. That will have no influence whatever upon your acceptance of the invitation to speak here, inasmuch as the audience will be quite different. You will, of course, plan to stay with us, I hope, and I think you know how eagerly the Wisemans and ourselves are looking forward to the opportunity of a personal visit with you.
Harry Smith's acceptance to my invitation came on the same mail with your letter, and I have only now to hear from Dr. Whipple to have my program completed in the way I had originally hope to construct it.
I am off tomorrow for Madison and shall give you a report of that conference later.
With deep appreciation of your willingness to come to Columbus on December 27th,
Most cordially,
Charles A. Doan, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
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