- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Ernest William Goodpasture

Born  1886
Died  1960

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American pathologist, born October 17, 1886, Montgomery County, Tennessee; died September 20, 1960, Nashville.

Biography of Ernest William Goodpasture

Ernest William Goodpasture is best known for his study of viruses and their behaviour in chicken embryos and fertilized chicken eggs. Based on these studies. In 1931 he succeeded in finding a method for cultivating viruses and rickettsiae in fertilized chicken eggs. This made possible the production of vaccines against chicken pox, smallpox, yellow fever typhus, Rocky mountain fever and other diseases caused by pathogenic agents that can propagate in living tissue. He also developed several staining methods and techniques.

Goodpasture obtained his doctorate at the Johns Hopkins University in 1912, and subsequently held various positions in pathology at this university until 1915, from 1912-1914 as the Rockefeller Fellow in pathology. From 1915 to 1917 he was resident pathologist at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston. 1917-1921 assistant professor of pathology at Harvard University, 1922-1924 director of the William H. Singer Memorial Research Laboratory in Pittsburgh. He was appointed to the chair of pathology at the medical school of Vanderbilt University in 1924, remaining in that position until 1955. His work concerns the formation of fibrinogen, haemorrhagic pancreatitis, herpes, influenza, yaws, and lyssa, as well as problems related to the formation of tumours.

In 1934, with C. D. Johnsen, he first showed that mumps was due to a filterable virus.


  • Alice Miles Woodruff and E. W. Goodpasture:
    The susceptibility of chorio-allantoic membrane of chick embryos to infection with the fowl-pox virus.
    American Journal of Pathology, Philadelphia, 1931, 7: 209-222.

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