Gajdusek, D. Carleton (Daniel Carleton), 1923-2008

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1923-09-09
Death 2008-12-12
Americans
English, Russian

Biographical notes:

Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, 1923-, MD, 1946, Harvard Medical School, was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for his research proving that slow viruses are a major cause of degenerative neurological disorders. Gajdusek served as head of laboratories for virological and neurological research, and later was head of the Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies at the National Institutes of Health; his research focused on child growth and development in primitive cultures, immunology, and neurological patterning and learning.

From the description of Papers, 1955-2005. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 231042573

Physician, medical researcher and virologist. Daniel Carleton Gajdusek was born in 1923 in Yonkers, New York. Gajdusek graduated in 1943 from the University of Rochester (New York) and obtained an M.D. from Harvard University in 1946. He performed postdoctoral research at Columbia, Caltech and Harvard and went on to work as a research virologist. In 1954 he became a visiting investigator with Frank Burnet at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne where he undertook studies in child development and disease patterns with Australian Aboriginal and New Guinean populations. Gajdusek was named 1976 Nobel Laureate, with virologist Baruch Samuel Blumberg, in recognition of his study of kuru, a fatal brain disease prevalent among the Fore people of New Guinea in the 1950s and 1960s. Gajdusek died in Norway on 12 December, 2008.

From the description of Papers of D. Carleton Gajdusek, 1957-2005 [manuscript]. [1957-2005] (Libraries Australia). WorldCat record id: 423052106

Daniel Carleton Gajdusek was born on September 9, 1923 in Yonkers, New York. In 1943, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Rochester with a BS in biophysics. Gajdusek received his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1946 and performed a postdoctoral fellowship (physical chemistry) at the California Institute of Technology in 1948. Drafted by the military in 1951, he served as a research virologist at the Walter Reed Medical Service Graduate School. After spending a brief time at the Institut Pasteur in Teheran (1952-1953), Gajdusek went to Australia where he conducted research on a disease known as Kuru, a neurological disorder that was rampant among the people of the South Fore tribe (Papua New Guinea). Gajdusek's research concluded that the disease, also called the "Laughing Sickness," was transmitted through the practice of cannibalism. For his work with Kuru, Gajdusek received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1976. Gajdusek was named director of laboratories for virological and neurological research for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health in 1958. In 1970, he was named Chief of Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies at NINDS. Gajdusek remained with NIH until he officially retired in 1997.

From the description of D. Carleton Gajdusek correspondence, 1920-1996. (National Library of Medicine). WorldCat record id: 70928990

D. Carleton Gajdusek is a pediatrician and virologist.

From the description of Journals, 1957-1984. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122347528

From the guide to the D. Carleton (Daniel Carleton) Gajdusek journals, 1957-1984, 1957-1984, (American Philosophical Society)

A pediatrician and virologist trained at the University of Rochester and Harvard Medical School, Carleton Gajdusek became interested in epidemiological issues in "exotic and isolated populations" early in the 1950s, and while working as a visiting investigator at the Walter and Eliza Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne he had his first introduction to a neurological disorder, kuru, that was endemic among the Neolithic Fore of New Guinea. In an exemplary study, Gajudusek determined that kuru was not hereditary, as previously supposed, but was an infectious disease transmitted through the ritualistic consumption of the brains of deceased relatives. He was recognized for his achievements with the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

From the guide to the D. Carleton (Daniel Carleton) Gajdusek correspondence, 1934-1988, 1934-1988, (American Philosophical Society)

D. Carleton Gajdusek is a pediatrician and research virologist, and was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1978.

From the description of Correspondence, 1934-1988. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122632868

Daniel Carleton Gajdusek was born in Yonkers, New York, on September 9, 1923. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1943 before receiving his M.D. from Harvard University in 1946. Gajdusek began his Nobel-Prize winning research in 1955 after holding research positions at Cal Tech, at the Institut Pasteur in Tehran, the University of Maryland, and at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medicine in Melbourne, Australia. This was the beginning of Gajdusek's decades-long personal and scientific association with the peoples of Papua New Guinea, described in almost daily detail in his journals and in numerous scientific papers and lectures. In Papua New Guinea, Gajudsk co-discovered and provided the first medical description of kuru, a fatal degenerative disorder of the central nervous system unique to the Fore people of the Eastern Highlands Province of that island. Later Gajdusek and others would conclude that the transmission mechanism of kuru originated from the Fore funeral custom of consuming the brains of the deceased. In 1958, Gajdusek became director of the Study for Child Growth and Development and Disease Patterns in Primitive Cultures, and the Laboratory of Slow, Latent, and Temperate Virus Infections at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. In 1970, he also became chief of NIH's Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies. However, his long research career at the National Institutes of Health ended in 1996, when he was charged with child abuse.

From the description of D. Carleton Gajdusek papers, 1926-1997. (University of California, San Diego). WorldCat record id: 36009713

Daniel Carleton Gajdusek was born on September 9, 1923 in Yonkers, New York. In 1943, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Rochester with a BS in biophysics. Gajdusek received his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1946 and performed a postdoctoral fellowship (physical chemistry) at the California Institute of Technology in 1948. Drafted by the military in 1951, he served as a research virologist at the Walter Reed Medical Service Graduate School.

After spending a brief time at the Institut Pasteur in Teheran (1952-1953), Gajdusek went to Australia where he conducted research on a disease known as Kuru, a neurological disorder that was rampant among the people of the South Fore tribe (Papua New Guinea). Gajdusek's research concluded that the disease, also called the "Laughing Sickness," was transmitted through the practice of cannibalism. For his work with Kuru, Gajdusek received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1976.

Gajdusek was named director of laboratories for virological and neurological research for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health in 1958. In 1970, he was named Chief of Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies at NINDS. Gajdusek remained with NIH until he officially retired in 1997.

From the guide to the D. Carleton Gajdusek Correspondence, 1920-1996, (History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine)

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Subjects:

  • Virologists--Archives
  • Fore (Papua New Guinean people)--Diseases
  • Virologists--Diaries
  • Medical scientists--Diaries
  • Nobel Prize winners--Archives
  • Central nervous system--Diseases--Etiology
  • Diseases--Causes and theories of causation
  • Medicine--Research
  • Kuru--New Guinea
  • Central nervous system--Diseases
  • Kuru
  • Pediatrics--Research
  • Virus diseases
  • Medical scientists--Archives
  • Population genetics--Research
  • Public health
  • Epidemiology
  • Virologists--Biography
  • Medicine
  • Bacteriology
  • Microbiologists--Diaries
  • Virologists--Correspondence
  • Nervous system--Diseases
  • Genetics--Research
  • Human genetics--Research
  • Epidemiology--Research--Micronesia
  • Epidemiology--Research
  • Epidemiology--Research--Melanesia
  • Virology--Research
  • Neurology--Research

Occupations:

  • Medical scientists--United States
  • Medical researchers
  • Nobel laureates

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • Papua New Guinea (as recorded)
  • Melanesia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Papua New Guinea (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Papua New Guinea (as recorded)
  • New Guinea (as recorded)
  • Micronesia (as recorded)
  • Oceania (as recorded)
  • Australia (as recorded)
  • New Guinea (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)