Biography of Edward Francis
Edward Francis studied at the Ohio State University and at the University of Cincinnati, where he received his medical degree in 1897. In 1900 he was appointed Officer of the United States Public Health Service, Washington, subsequently working there as bacteriologist at the hygienical laboratory. He was appointed Medical Director in 1930 and retired January 1, 1938.
Francis contracted tularaemia from the first “deer fly fever” patient he visited in Utah. During three months of sickness he kept a careful record of his illness.
He discovered that one attack confers permanent immunity in man. He was continuously exposed to Bacterium tularense for sixteen years, accidentally reinfecting himself on four occasions. He proved conclusively that local reinfection in a tularaemia-immune individual is an immune reaction, as in revaccination with smallpox vaccine virus.
In 1928 the American Medical Association awarded Francis its Gold Medal for his contributions to the knowledge of tularaemia. He received honorary degrees from Miami University and Ohio State University. Besides tularaemia, Francis also wrote on yellow fever, pellagra, tetanus, filariasis and febris undulans.