The Rockefeller Institute & The History of Penicillin: Background information when reading A Fierce Radiance

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A Fierce Radiance

A Novel

by Lauren Belfer

A Fierce Radiance
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2010, 544 pages
    Apr 2011, 544 pages

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Beyond the Book:
The Rockefeller Institute & The History of Penicillin

The Rockefeller Institute
The Rockefeller Institute features prominently in A Fierce Radiance. While Dr. James Stanton and the other researchers depicted in the novel are fictional, the Institute is a real place dedicated to biomedical research.   John D. Rockefeller in 1885It was founded in 1901 by John D. Rockefeller Sr., philanthropist and owner of Standard Oil, after his grandson died from scarlet fever. The Institute was the first research center in America to focus on cures for the major diseases of the day: tuberculosis, diphtheria and typhoid fever. 

In 1910, the Institute opened a hospital, where scientists could quickly test their laboratory research on actual patients. The hospital became a model for future clinical research centers in the United States.

Following on from many early successes, which included contributing to the development of Penicillin as a commercially viable drug; in the 1940s researchers at the Institute were the first to utilize the electron ...

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