Dalldorf, Gilbert

Gilbert Dalldorf

Sloan-Kettering Institute

For his demonstration of the ability of one virus to modify the course of infection by another and for his discovery of Coxsackie virus.

Few in research have the distinction of having contributed highly important information in two quite different fields, and twice, broadly and significantly, in one of them.

Gilbert Dalldorf is in this unique position. In his chosen discipline of pathological anatomy his early studies were of the morphological changes associated with deficiency disease. These were made at a time when the subject was new and its broad implications rarely recognized.

Somewhat later, while carrying heavy general responsibilities, he made the unique observation of "interference," the ability of infection with one virus to modify the course of another. The pertinence of this discovery to our basic understanding of virus infection, the constitution of viruses, and of the potential therapy of virus infection was great. It becomes greater almost daily, 30 years after the original observation.

More recently, again while carrying major responsibility in a different setting, he made a second revolutionary contribution to virology. By the inoculation of diseased tissue into very young animals, Coxsackie virus was uncovered, and so a new disease entity defined. This was not only an important clarification of a medical mystery; the procedure employed opened to productive study the great field of tissue immunity, gave us new means for tissue transplantation, and broadened modern virology and cancer research.

The example provided by this patient and devoted scientist will long stand as a model for the investigator of the future.