May 22, 2009

CONTACT: Marc Kaplan
(215) 662-2560
marc.kaplan@uphs.upenn.edu


Penn Medicine Honored for its Historic Role in the History of Microbiology

PHILADELPHIA –  The University of Pennsylvania was honored by The American Society for Microbiology last Friday with a plaque dedication ceremony celebrating the designation of its third Milestones in Microbiology site. Formerly known as the Laboratory of Hygiene, the current Vagelos Laboratories resides on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Honorary speakers included Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Alison O’Brien, PhD, President, American Society for Microbiology; and William B. Whitman, PhD, Trustee and Director of the Editorial Offices, Bergey’s Manual Trust.

The Institute of Hygiene opened at the University of Pennsylvania on February 2, 1892 and the name quickly changed to the Laboratory of Hygiene.  The building was the first of its kind to be built specifically as a bacteriology laboratory.  The new laboratory held the University of Pennsylvania’s first formal courses in bacteriology.  Students studying medical, dental, veterinary, engineering, and natural science learned about public health and bacteriology within the new walls of the laboratory. Well-known bacteriologist Alexander C. Abbott, one of the founders of the American Society for Microbiology, started his profession in the Laboratory.

“The University of Pennsylvania is honored to be recognized as a pioneer in the field of bacteriology,” said Rubenstein. “We are so proud to keep that tradition alive with our work and research done within our laboratories.”

The original Laboratory of Hygiene is now the Roy and Diana Vagelos Laboratories located at 3340 Smith Walk on campus.  The 102,000 square feet building is used for research in bioengineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, and medicine. 

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PENN Medicine is a $3.6 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to the National Institutes of Health, received over $366 million in NIH grants (excluding contracts) in the 2008 fiscal year. Supporting 1,700 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) includes its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s top ten “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, named one of the nation’s “100 Top Hospitals” for cardiovascular care by Thomson Reuters. In addition UPHS includes a primary-care provider network; a faculty practice plan; home care, hospice, and nursing home; three multispecialty satellite facilities; as well as the Penn Medicine Rittenhouse campus, which offers comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation facilities and outpatient services in multiple specialties.


This release is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2009/05/milestones-in-microbiology.html