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Yale’s Army Medical Laboratory and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Yale’s Army Medical Laboratory and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Studies undertaken during World War I led to breakthroughs in chemotherapy, providing a new understanding of the pathology of the deadly influenza virus.

The two facilities established at Yale during World War I for training lab technicians for fieldwork and for studying the effects of poison gas were in existence for only three years, but during that brief period they created a legacy of teaching and patient care that is still relevant to students at the School of Medicine and to health practitioners around the world.“In the early 20th century, Yale wasn’t a leader. There was no full-time faculty, and the teaching was mostly rote memorization followed by an apprenticeship,” said Michael Kashgarian, M.D. ’58, HS ’63, professor of pathology and molecular, cellular and developmental biology.That changed in 1917, when Milton C. Winternitz, M.D., became chair of...

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