- A dictionary of medical eponyms

John F. Anderson

Born  1873-03-14
Died  1958-09-29

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American bacteriologist, born March 14, 1873, Fredericksburg, Virginia; died September 29, 1958.

Biography of John F. Anderson

John F. Anderson received his medical degree at the University of Virginia and then went abroad to study bacteriology. Upon returning in 1898, he joined the Marine Hospital Service and on October 1, 1909, succeeded Milton Joseph Rosenau (1869-1946) as director of the Hygienic Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health. He was among the early scientists who made this laboratory well-known in scientific circles.

In 1903, Anderson reported the existence of «spotted fever» in the Rocky Mountains. In 1906, along with Rosenau he made valuable contributions concerning sudden death following injections of horse serum. In 1911 he did some notable research with Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929) on the transmission of measles to monkeys, providing science with an experimental animal for that disease.

We thank Grace E. Jacobs for information submitted.


  • M. J. Rosenau and J. Anderson:
    A study of the cause of sudden death following the injection of horse serum.
    Washington, Govt. Printing Office, 1906.
    Forms Bulletin No. 29 of the Hygienic Laboratory, U. S. Marine Hospital Service. Rosenau and Anderson drew attention to the fact that animals receiving an injection of a foreign protein became sensitive to a second dose of the same protein. This reaction is similar to the anaphylaxis of Charles Robert Richet and the Theobald Smith phenomenon. See Richet’s phenomenon under Charles Robert Richet, 1850-1935, and Theobald Smith’s phenomenon, under Theobald Smith, American pathologist, 1859-1934.
  • J. F. Anderson, J. Goldberger:
    Experimental measles in the monkey.
    Public Health Reports, Washington, 1911, 26: 847-848, 887-895.
  • J. F. Anderson:
    Typhus fever. Its etiology and the methods of its prevention.
    Public Health Reports, Washington, 1915, 30: 1303-1311.

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