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Hans Zinsser

Born 1878
Died 1940

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American bacteriologist, born November 17, 1878, New York; died 1940.

Biography of Hans Zinsser

Hans Zinsser obtained his doctorate from Columbia University in 1903. From 1903 to 1905 he was a bacteriologist at Roosevelt Hospital, 1905-1906 at his alma mater. 1907-1910 he was assistant pathologist at St. Luke’s Hospital, and from 1908 also instructor for bacteriology at the Columbia University. In 1910 he became associate professor at Stanford University, full professor there in 1911, 1913 at Columbia University, 1923 at Harvard University.

Hans Zinsser made major contributions to bacteriology and public health. In 1906 he developed a medium and a simple method to plate anaerobic organisms. He did extensive work on typhus and in 1934 developed a vaccine of killed rickettsias that would protect against typhus. Zinsser was assistant to the bacteriologist Philip Hanson Hiss (1868-1913), and was co-writer with his on a Textbook of bacteriology.

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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.

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