Hektoen, Ludvig


Dates:           b. 1863; member of pathology staff ULMC, 1892; retired 1941; d. 1951

Locations:    Intern, (1888‑1889); Pathologist, Cook County Hospital (1889‑1903); University of Illinois, College of Medicine; Lecturer in Pathology, (1890‑1892); Prof. Pathology, College of P & S Chicago (1892‑1894); Professor of Morbid Anatomy (1895‑1897); Prof. of Pathology, Rush Medical College (1898‑1900); Professor of Pathology and Head of Dept. of Pathology, University of Chicago (1901‑1931); Director, John McCormick Institute for Infectious Diseases (1902‑)

Training:      BA Luther College Iowa 1883; one year at Univ. of Wisc.; MD College of P & S Chicago 1887; between 1890 and 1895 at Uppsala, Prague and Berlin

Fields:          medical; virology; immunology

Publications: co‑editor of Journal of Infectious Diseases 1904‑1941; original editor of Archives of Pathology; "Is Scarlet Fever a Streptococcus Disease?" JAMA 48 (1907): 1158‑1160; "Bacteriology of Measles," JAMA 71 (1918): 1201‑1205; "History of Experimental Scarlet Fever in Man," JAMA 80 (1923): 84‑87; "Advances in the Study of Streptococci," J. of Bact. 19 (1930): 57‑72;

SAB Involvement:  charter member of SAB; Pres. of AAPB 1903 but resigned in the 1910's; Pres. SAB 1929; Pres. Am. Society of Immunologists 1927; SAB Honorary Member 1934

Presidential Address: "Advances in the Study of Streptococci," J. of Bact. 19 (1930): 57‑72 http://jb.asm.org/cgi/reprint/19/2/57


Archive Files: See Koser article; look for commemoration lectures at SAB meeting in 1947; Esmond R. Long, "History of the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists," American Journal of Pathology 77 (1979); Paul R. Cannon, "Ludvig Hektoen, 1863‑1951," NAS Biog. Memoirs v. 28; Morris Fishbein, "Ludvig Hektoen ‑‑ A Biography and an Appreciation," Archiv. of Pathology 26 (1938): 1‑31; Paul R. Cannon, "Ludvig Hektoen, Pathologist, 1863‑1951," Archiv. Path. 52 (1951): 390‑394; James P. Simonds, "Ludvig Hektoen:  A Study in Changing Scientific Interests," Proc. of the Inst. of Medicine of Chicago 14 (1942): 284‑287; J. Bact. 62:5, November 1951; Nat Cyc. American Biog. 18, 1922; DSB; ANB; Current Biography 1947



     Graduated valedictorian from med school.  When at Rush, he was professor of morbid anatomy and director of the laboratory of bacteriology and hygiene.  He was also active in the Chicago Pathological Society.  Additionally, he was prof. of pathology and head of the dept. of pathology and bacteriology at the University of Chicago.  In 1902, he was appointed director of the McCormick Inst. and brought many of his associates from Rush and Cook.  Was the co‑editor, with Jordan, of the Journal of Infectious Diseases from 1903 on. 

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Hektoen offered, but did not read, a paper on "A New Pathogenic Fungus ‑‑ the Sporothrix of Schenck."  He was listed as present at the 1901 meeting.  At the 1908 SAB meeting, he delivered one of the select papers before, or Chaired, the joint session with Section K of the AAAS.

     His involvement with the University of Chicago was limited, as he devoted most of his time and effort to the McCormick Institute.  Hektoen's chief research interests lay in common infectious diseases of childhood, particularly measles, where he searched for a causative agent and investigated aspects of immune reactions.  Hektoen suggested that the agent was a filterable virus.  He carried out work on various aspects of phagocytosis, such as the specificity of opsonins and mechanism of opsonic action, and the production and distribution of antibodies.  Along with Park, Hektoen presented a comprehensive review of serum therapies before the 1916 meeting of the AAPB.  He contributed to the studies of scarlet fever with Tunnicliff, and the Dicks.  Hektoen also studied fungal infections, including actinomycosis, blastomycosis, and sporotrichosis. 

     Hektoen was, however, primarily a pathologist, with studies on cardiovascular pathology.  Cannon mentions that Hektoen conceived of pathology as a part of general biology, "with no practical reference to its practical applications." (163)  His papers between 1903 and 1937 were mostly on immune‑body reactions, including their "nature, sites of formation, modes of action," etc. (Cannon 167) 

     Hektoen was also chair of the Div. of Med. Sciences at NRC in 1924, 1926 and 1929.  From 1936 to 1938 he was Chair of the NRC.