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The Mary Lasker Papers

Verbatim Remarks, National Advisory Heart Council, June 14-16, 1954 pdf (146,522 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Verbatim Remarks, National Advisory Heart Council, June 14-16, 1954
Number of Image Pages:
3 (146,522 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
14-16 June 1954
Lasker, Mary
Original Repository: Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Mary Lasker Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.
Exhibit Category:
From Bench to Bedside: Mary Lasker and the Drive for "Payoff" from Medical Research
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Drafts (documents)
Physical Condition:
Series: Series I
SubSeries: Topical Files
Folder: National Heart Institute
MRS. LASKER: I am very anxious that the recommendations of the Committee on Arteriosclerosis be considered seriously and that a mechanism be provided whereby more of our funds are put into this problem. It is the main cause of death. Between 500,000 and 600,000 in the United States die a year. It seems to me there are leads which, if put together and expanded, may make some solution to this disease. I would like to suggest that there be a committee of people both from the Council and Study Sections and from outside, if necessary, some biochemists, endocrinologists and other people that the staff would think were suitable. I am thinking of possibly Pincus of Worcester and C. H. Lee of U. of California who are chemists -- to meet with the people who are already getting our grants like Katz, Steiner, Kendall, Mann, Eder and Barr and others who have shown that estrogens have some effect on arteriosclerosis in man or at least that they make favorable blood changes, Dr. Katz has some evidence of this, some energetic program with substantial funds must be pursued in this particular field.
It seems to me there are leads here that were never here before, and it is one of the greatest things any human being could do to solve this problem.
I think the talk of Dr. Wilkins was inspiring because it shows there were a number of drugs for the control of high blood pressure. With more study and more evaluation of these drugs and others something very satisfactory for high blood pressure can be found. I am very proud that we are supporting the work of Dr. Wilkins and Dr. Freis and others in this field.
I am also very anxious that something more be done in the field of cerebral vascular disease. There was a conference this year held at Princeton and there are many possible leads, especially some work recorded by Dr. Foley and McDwitt and Dr. Wright in treatment of cerebral arteriosclerosis when one had diagnosed thrombosis, with anti-coagulants. It seems to me, from the number of people disabled by this disease, who are in mental health hospitals, who can't be kept at home because of disorientation and loss of memory, that it is part of the Council's duty to do something about it, by specially encouraging research workers in this field.
Another thing that I am very pleased about is that the Institute staff itself has prepared what has been considered by lay men who have seen it a superb report, in very simple words and in very simple sentences, on the work of the various grantees of the National Heart Institute, and on its intramural work. I find that members of the Council by some chance haven't received it yet. It has been sent to the members of National Heart Committee, many of whom are lay men and to some of the people in Congress who were interested, and they have been thrilled to find that they could understand what has been accomplished without reading many long complicated pages and paragraphs.
DR. WATT: I think the record should show that this represents, first, the work of Mr. Lea Martin in reporting (What Progress Against Heart Disease 1953), what progress in actual work. We provided with just a piece of paper -- looks something like this (indicating). The next time we saw it, it looked like this (indicating). I think Mrs. Lasker is entirely too modest when she gives us the credit that somewhere along the line someone had a very fine idea to put this into this form and also to provide for what it took to get it in this form.
MRS. LASKER: I thank Dr. Watt, also want to thank Dr. White for his generous words and agree with him about what he says.
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