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Jacob Churg

Born 1910
Died 2005

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American pathologist, born July 16, 1910, Dolhinow, then in Russia, now Poland; died July 27, 2005.

Biography of Jacob Churg

Jacob Churg was born in the Polish city of Dolhinow, then in Russia. His father, Wolf Ravich, was a physician, and his mother, Gita, was a dentist. He graduated in medicine from the university of Wilno in 1933 and subsequently spent two years in internship in the departments of internal medicine at the local hospitals.

He became an assistant in the pathological department of the university and received his medical doctorate in 1936, but already the same year the political unrest in Europe caused him to emigrate. He moved to New York where his uncle, Louis Chargin, was chief physician at the skin clinic in the Mount Sinai Hospital.

At first Churg worked in the bacteriological laboratory and conducted research in the toxicity of various sulpha preparations. In 1942 he was once more able to devote himself to full time pathology. The following year he received U.S. citizenship, but his research was interrupted by military service during the last years of the war. Upon returning to civilian life Churg resumed research, and it was at this time he commenced his collaboration with Lotte Strauss.

Churg introduced thin sectioning and special stains, such as chromotrope-aniline blue in 1956. He applied and developed new techniques for the preparation and examination of renal biopsy tissue for electron microscopy when it first became available. Churg and his collaborators published a vast number of works on almost every form of glomerular disease condition which are now taken for granted, but were then poorly understood or unknown. These works include studies on lupus nephritis, focal glomerulosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, haemolytic uraemic syndrome, crescent-forming glomerulonephritis, emyloidosis and glomerular fibrillos. Churg also published classical works on asbestos related diseases, like mesotelioma and lung cancer.

Jakob Churg was appointed clinical professor of pathology in 1966. He has published more than 300 scientific works, among them ten textbooks on pathology.

We thank Daniel Housa for information submitted.

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