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New United States Postal Service stamp honors an American scientist

May 5, 2008/Saranac Lake, N.Y.-- On May 12, 2008, the United States Postal Service will release a new stamp in their Distinguished Americans series. The stamp, the eleventh issued in the series, honors Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau (1848-1915). Stamp collecting is one of the most popular hobbies in the world, with estimates of up to 20 million American collectors participating in the activity. The E.L. Trudeau stamp is expected to be highly collectible.

Dr. Trudeau, who came to Saranac Lake to recuperate from tuberculosis, devoted himself to researching and treating tuberculosis, the highly infectious disease that proved fatal to one in seven people in the late 19th century. He went on to promote the treatment and containment of the disease through exposure to plenty of fresh air, adequate rest, good food, and a positive attitude. The Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium he established in the Village of Saranac Lake treated thousands of underprivileged people afflicted with the disease. His guiding principles were to cure sometimes, to relieve often and to comfort always.

Ninety-five year old Elise Chapin, who contracted TB at the age of 22, traveled from Maryland to Saranac Lake for treatment in 1935. While reflecting on her lifes experiences, she noted: I had no idea when I arrived in Saranac Lake and was encouraged to lay down to rest, that I would not leave that cottage for three years. Mrs. Chapin still lives in Saranac Lake, and the cottage where she cured still stands, as do many cure cottages in the Village.

After recovering from the disease, Dr. Trudeau went on to establish the first American laboratory solely dedicated to the research of tuberculosis. By the 1950's, after the introduction of antibiotics to treat the disease, it was widely believed that the worldwide scourge of tuberculosis had been defeated and that sanitariums had outlived their usefulness. Dr. Francis Trudeau, E.L. Trudeaus grandson used the proceeds from the sale of the sanitarium to create a new research center devoted to the study of basic biological research.

Today, the internationally-renowned Trudeau Institute is home to world-class scientists and their highly-trained research teams, who all study some aspect of infection and immunity across a variety of different pathogens. Their studies focus not only on immune responses to major infectious diseases, such as influenza, but also on the role of the immune system in cancer, autoimmunity and aging.

Dr. David L. Woodland, president and director of the Trudeau Institute, is delighted with the news of the special-issue stamp and is proud that Dr. Trudeaus life and research are being recognized in such a distinguished manner. He is, furthermore, hopeful that the honor will serve to highlight the importance of medical research.

The Trudeau Institute continues its work towards the development of an improved vaccine for tuberculosis, a disease the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated to have killed 1.6 million people in 2005. With more than one third of the worlds population infected with TB bacilli, and the emergence of multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), more effective vaccines are urgently needed.

For 124 years now, in the relatively isolated environs of Saranac Lake, a humane and scientific enterprise is flourishing. Many seminal discoveries are attributed to Trudeau Institute scientists. Like Dr. Edward Trudeau, researchers at the Institute are committed to making breakthrough discoveries that lead to improved human health.


About the Artist

Best known for his detail-rich, black-and-white portraits of literary and historical figures, Mark Summers works out of his studio in Waterdown, Ontario, Canada. His drawings, regularly featured in the New York Times Book Review, are distinguished by a dense network of horizontal lines etched with exquisite precision. This scratchboard technique is reminiscent of turn-of-the-century engraved illustrations.


Contact: Brian Turner
Trudeau Institute

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