- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Park Spearin Gerald

Born 1921
Died 1993

Related eponyms

Bibliography

American paediatrician and human geneticist, born 1921, Omaha, Nebraska; died 1993.

Biography of Park Spearin Gerald

Park Spearin Gerald earned his M.D. from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, in 1947. In 1948 he completed an internship in paediatrics at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. He then began his research career at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, where he worked in infant nutrition with Benjamin Kagan. In 1951 he entered the U.S. Army and served with distinction as a paediatrician in the 11th Field Hospital in Augsburg, Germany.

In 1953 Gerald came to Children's Hospital where he served as a junior and senior assistant resident in paediatrics until 1955 and became a research fellow in that year. He became an associate professor with tenure in 1967 and a full professor in 1970.

Gerald distinguished himself with his work on human haemoglobin abnormalities and in 1962 received the E. Mead-Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics. In the late 1950s, Luis Klein Diamond (1902-1999) sent Gerald for a fellowship with Penrose at the Galton Laboratory at University College, London. There, Gerald devoted himself to human genetics and the growing field of cytogenetics. He returned to Children's to establish the first human genetics research and training program at Harvard. The training program was also one of the first in the United States.

Gerald made important contributions in the field of human cytogenetics and devoted much of his efforts to the early and important attempts at mapping human genes to specific chromosomes, both by clinical correlation and by the use of somatic cell hybrids. He was deeply involved in the important survey studies to elucidate the frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in newborns and young children. Finally, he was involved in important studies of the behavioural development of children with sex chromosome abnormalities.

Gerald retired in December 1981. During the last years of his tenure he became interested in informatics and after retirement he pursued his passion for computers full time and became a very active member of the Boston Computer Society.

We thank Frederick Hecht for information submitted.

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.

Disclaimer:

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.