Ruth L. Kirschstein

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Pathologist
QUICK FACTS
Date of Birth October 12, 1926
Place of Birth New York
Date of Death Oct 6, 2009 (82)
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Ruth L. Kirschstein

Ruth Lillian Kirschstein was an American pathologist and science administrator at the National Institutes of Health. Kirschstein served as director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, deputy director of NIH in the 1990s, and acting director of the NIH in 1993 and 2000-2002. She was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine. In 2002, Congress renamed the NIH graduate student fellowship program to the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award in honor of Kirschstein's work at the NIH. Although she had trained as a classical pianist, she pursued medicine, graduating in 1947 from Long Island University and earning a Doctor of Medicine medical degree from Tulane University in 1951. She interned in medicine and surgery at Kings County hospital and completed medical residencies in pathology at Providence Hospital in Detroit, Tulane University Hospital, and the Clinical Center at the NIH.

Born: October 12, 1926, Brooklyn, New York
Died: October 6, 2009, Bethesda, Maryland
Fields: Pathology, Government Administration
Alma mater: Long Island University Tulane University School of Medicine
Known for: Polio vaccine safety research First woman appointed director of an NIH Institute
Notable awards: Election to the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, U. S. Public Health Service (PHS) Superior Service Award (1978), the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award (1980), PHS Special Recognition Award (1985), Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award (the highest honor for a career civil servant) (1985), and the Women of Achievement Award from the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (2000)
Spouse: Alan S. Rabson
Children: Arnold B. Rabson

About Ruth L. Kirschstein

Pathologist whose research consisted of testing the safety of the polio vaccine. She received superior service awards from both the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the United States Public Health Service.

Ruth L. Kirschstein Before Fame

She received her medical degree from Tulane University in 1951.

Achievement of Ruth L. Kirschstein

She was a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the acting director of the National Institutes of Health in 1993 and from 2000 to 2002.

Ruth L. Kirschstein Family Life

She was married to pathologist Dr. Alan S. Rabson for 59 years.

Associations of Ruth L. Kirschstein

She was influenced by Madame Curie.

Information related to Ruth L. Kirschstein

  • Tulane University School of Medicine alumni
  • Long Island University alumni
  • National Institutes of Health people
  • Members of the National Academy of Medicine
  • American women physicians
  • 20th-century American physicians
Latest information about Ruth L. Kirschstein updated on April 17, 2021.

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