Growth Of A Research Bastion

In 1892, when Gen. Isaac J. Wistar founded the institute that a century later still bears his name, his main intent was to make a home for the anatomical collection that belonged to his great-uncle Caspar Wistar, a University of Pennsylvania anatomist and physician. Fortunately, the general thought to add a few laboratories and research rooms to the museum on the first floor, which displayed such items as a great whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. But though it was the general who fou

Jean Wallace
Mar 1, 1992
In 1892, when Gen. Isaac J. Wistar founded the institute that a century later still bears his name, his main intent was to make a home for the anatomical collection that belonged to his great-uncle Caspar Wistar, a University of Pennsylvania anatomist and physician.

Fortunately, the general thought to add a few laboratories and research rooms to the museum on the first floor, which displayed such items as a great whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling.

But though it was the general who founded the institute, it was Hilary Koprowski who put it on the map--or, some would say, the globe.

In 1957, when Koprowski arrived, the place "was a dilapidated, archaic, musty, dusty institute of biology and medicine where no major research was being done. It was Hilary who built it up," says Michael Katz, a colleague of Koprowski's and chairman of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical School in...

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