- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Edward Francis

Born  1872
Died  1957

Related eponyms

American bacteriologist, born March 27, 1872, Shandon, Ohio; died 1957.

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.


  • Deer-fly fever, or Pahvant Valley plague; a disease of man of hitherto unknown etiology.
    Public Health Reports, 1919, 34: 2061-2062.
  • Tularaemia Francis 1921. The occurrence of tularemia in nature as a disease of man. Public Health Reports, 1921, 36: 1731-1753.
  • Cultivation of Bacterium tularense on mediums new to this organism.
    Public Health Reports, 1922, 27: 102-115.
  • Tularemia Francis 1921: a new disease of man.
    Washington, Government Printing Office, 1922.
    (Hygienic Laboratory Bulletin no, 130) 87 pages.
  • Cultivation of Bacterium tularense on three additional mediums new to this organism. Public Health Reports, 1922, 37: 987-989, 1922.
  • Tularemia. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1925, 84: 1243-1250.
  • A summary of the present knowledge of tularemia.
    Medicine, Baltimore, 1929, 7: 411 432.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.