Forkner worked with Sabin at the Rockefeller Institute from 1927 to 1929, and corresponded with her regularly long afterwards.
In this letter, Sabin tells Forkner of Dr. Flexner's praise for the reports of their joint research, the news that all
seven papers will be published together, and new discoveries in the lab.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (280,109 Bytes)
1929-12-04 (December 4, 1929)
Sabin, Florence R.
Original Repository: American Philosophical Society. Library. Florence R. Sabin Papers
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At the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, 1925-1938
Forkner, Claude, #7
Dec. 4. 1929.
Dear Dr. Forkner,
Your splendid letter has been of the greatest pleasure to me; first let me congratulate you on your work; the fixing of the
NR in the lymph nodes is great and I am so pleased that you got it over there to show to Ashoff and make him realize the value
of the vital reactions of cells. As to the slides, Emile did the same thing all by himself. Wasn't that amusing. He
drains the excess on a blotting paper and then puts into the flame for a second and the slides are perfection. I had him
send the 50 to Dr. Buckman with whom I have been corresponding. It seems that Hoover has appointed a Commission to study
hygiene of childhood and Dr. Balackfan is at the head of a subcommittee of which I am a member and Dr. Buckman is secretary.
The Committee has not had a meeting as yet.
In connection with this Committee we have started the two new men on the following program; have mated rabbits having a similar
blood count and are to count the blood of the parents and the young once a week for six months. We think that will be an
interesting follow up of your work on the new born. One litter will be used for bone marrow counts once a month so we shall
have a correlation of blood and bone marrow. That is the problem for the two new men on the staff.
You will think that we have done nothing this fall when I tell you that the fifth paper is only going to press this week;
all of them have been enormously improved this fall. For the first three Dr. Flexner wrote us the following note - "I
have read your three papers on the chemo-histology of the tubercle bacillus with great interest and pleasure. They are models,
and I congratulate you Doan and Forkner". Wasn't that nice. The fourth paper on the proteins was also much reworked;
the 304 is the water soluble protein and White now thinks that it is only of diagnostic value; nevertheless we got a little
increase in longevity with its serum. The ultrafiltration method of preparing it of Seibert has proved unusable because it
does not free the protein of sugar. Johnson's method has to be substituted. Now we are hot foot after the effects of
the other protein which is alkaline-soluble and quite different structurally because it has different amino acids, or at least
different amino acid nitrogen. We start with it this month with the experiment coming due with serum just after Christmas.
Doan is now working on the fifth paper which covers all of the immunological work since our first year here. Analyzed according
to the M/L index we think the results are quite remarkable. Doan is to give the work at the staff meeting this week and it
may get pretty well torn to pieces yet I believe that we have really shown that the cellular factor has been pinned down to
the M/L ratio as index. The tables are quite remarkable.
Wisemann is getting some interesting results with the embryonic juice; the first animal showed a remarkable lympho-pressor
effect and if we get lymphocytes under experimental control we may really have done something. You can imagine that we are
all excitement in the department. Dr. Miller is to study plasma cells for his own problem. We found that 6 out of 8 of the
rabbits showed an increase in plasma cells in the omentum after intraperitoneal 304 and that is what he will repeat and they
study the plasma very intensely. The second rabbit of Dr. Wiseman's series killed this afternoon did not show the pressor
effect of lymphocytes but a very complex reaction, so the plot thickens.
Dr. Flexner just called me in and told me the good news that all seven of our papers are published together as a supplement
to the JEM so they will all be bound together. The five are done, four already in and the fifth goes in this week. This
means that all the papers will be held up for the two of the giant cells; under the circumstances I think that it would be
better not to send them to you in advance because it would waste a full month. Dr. Doan has been writing exceeding well this
fall and I think that you can fully trust him and me too on the papers. Since they are to go in with the TB group it seems
best to rework the joint paper tying up the work with the TB papers and stressing the epitheliod giant cell. Then the last
paper will be yours alone and will be just about as you have written it, except sharpening up the statement of the fusion
of cells as evidenced in the giant cells in the blood. You will have time to answer before the papers really go to press
and I will send the carbons immediately when they are first finished; then if you want any changes they could go in the galley
if they were not too expensive. If you are unwilling to let them go to press before you have passed on them please reply
at once and we will hold them up. I think however that you can safely trust us in the matter and that will speed things for
publication. You can imagine that we are pretty anxious to get them all out and off our hands. I think that the first five
have been amazingly improved.
I get frequent requests for your reprints and have sent them out and kept the letters and lists for you.
I gave a talk at Vassar the other day to the Chemical Department in what they call chemistry week. After dinner I met a few
of the girls, and among them Miss DuBois. It was nice to see her again.
I haven't seen Mrs. Reesor yet but hope to at the luncheon which comes on December 17th. I am to be introduced to the
President on the 11th which seems to me to be making much more of my work than it deserves. The whole thing makes me feel
pretty humble and to wonder whether I shall accomplish anything worth while after all.
I shall be eager for your next letter; you write such good ones. I hope that it won't be long before we can send the
carbons off to you.
Every one in the laboratory sends greetings; the new men have both enjoyed your papers.