For The Record:
School of Hygiene and
The School of Hygiene and Public Health will name its
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in honor of
Harry Feinstone, a retired pharmaceutical researcher and
executive from Memphis, Tenn., who earned his doctor of science
degree in biology and chemistry at the school in 1939.
"We are delighted to acknowledge Dr. Feinstone's immense contribution to the public's health through his long career in the pharmaceutical industry and his generous support of the school," said Alfred Sommer, dean of the School of Hygiene and Public Health.
Feinstone has made a seven-figure pledge to the Campaign for Johns Hopkins; his gift will establish an endowment at the school to support the recruitment and early careers of outstanding young scientists in molecular microbiology and immunology.
"Making this gift gives me gratification that I don't know how to express," Feinstone said. "The School of Hygiene and Public Health has had a hand in controlling and, in many cases, eradicating certain diseases worldwide through the people trained here. This endowment will assist young scientists with their early research in a field that is the basis of all new knowledge in combating infectious disease."
Daniel Nathans, interim president of the university, praised Feinstone for his support of the basic sciences, "the bedrock on which the public's health is built."
Hopkins faculty "are battling new scourges like AIDS and cancer, and continue to fight old enemies such as tuberculosis and malaria," Nathans said. "Harry Feinstone's gift will ensure that this vital and important work is continued for posterity and will contribute to the continued improvement of the health of people everywhere."
As a doctoral student at Hopkins in the 1930s, Feinstone said, he learned from faculty whose work helped to form the foundation of modern public health research and practice.
"It was a tremendously exciting time," he recalled. "I studied with faculty who were giants in every field of medicine and public health. There were discoveries and advances during those years at Hopkins that had a worldwide impact on public health."
Feinstone's 37-year career in pharmaceuticals produced its own share of advances in public health, as he participated in the development of sulfa drugs, broncho-dilators and many over-the-counter drugs ranging from infant colic drops to Di-Gel.
The Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health is one of the largest and oldest departments of its kind in the nation. Diseases being studied include many of the most important threats to public health: malaria, measles, mosquito-borne viruses, AIDS and tuberculosis.
Feinstone's pledge has helped bring the Johns Hopkins Initiative to $586 million in total commitments, 65 percent of its overall goal of $900 million for The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.
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