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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. Formally 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. Student's 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 Arthur H. Rubinstein, MBBCh. "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.


Contact: Marc Kaplan
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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