Rous, Francis Peyton


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Rous, Francis Peyton,

1879–1970, American pathologist, b. Baltimore, educated at Johns Hopkins (B.A., 1900; M.D., 1905). He taught (1906–8) pathology at the Univ. of Michigan and in 1909 joined the Rockefeller Institute (now Rockefeller Univ.), in New York City. His long career included research in the physiology of the liver and blood (he helped develop blood banks). The 1966 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to C. B. HugginsHuggins, Charles Brenton,
1901–97, American surgeon and urologist, b., Halifax, N.S., M.D. Harvard Univ., 1924. He was a professor at Arcadia Univ. at the time of his retirement in 1979 but spent the bulk of his career on the faculty at the Univ. of Chicago (1927–72).
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 and Rous. The latter's award recognized his discovery of tumor-inducing viruses. The first report of this work in 1910 was received with disbelief by scientists, but subsequent research justified Rous's findings and added to the understanding of one of the causes of cancer.

Rous, Francis Peyton

 

Born Oct. 5, 1879, in Baltimore; died Feb. 16, 1970, in New York. American pathologist. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and many other academies and scientific societies.

Rous graduated from the faculty of medicine of Johns Hopkins University. He worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York from 1909 and in 1945 was named an honorary member. He was editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Rous’ major scientific contribution was the discovery of oncogenic viruses. In 1911 he demonstrated that sarcoma may be transferred from a sick to a healthy chicken not only by cells but also by cell-free filtrates of tumor tissue. The Rous sarcoma virus was subsequently identified and studied by many oncologists and virologists. It is currently widely used in oncovirologi-cal studies. Rous and his colleagues established that an organism’s mechanisms of immunity against an oncogenic virus differ from its mechanisms of immunity against a tumor cell infected by the virus. They also showed that the oncogenicity of oncogenic viruses increases when the viruses are used with either carcinogens or stimulators of cell growth. Rous also published many generalizing works on the role of viruses in the generation of tumors. He also proposed the concept of tumor progression. Rous was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1966.

WORKS

“A Sarcoma of the Fowl Transmissible by an Agent Separable from the Tumor Cells.” Journal of Experimental Medicine, 1911, vol. 13, no. 4.
“Surmise and Fact on the Nature of Cancer.” Nature, 1959, vol. 183, no. 4, 672.

G. B. GOKHLERNER