Theobald Smith

American microbiologist

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  • Born: July 31, 1859 in Albany, New York, United States

  • Died: December 10, 1934 in Princeton, New Jersey, United States

  • Nationality: American
  • Education: received the degree of M.D. from the Albany Medical College in 1883, Did graduate work in biology at Johns Hopkins, University of Toronto, and Cornell


  • 1886: Organized at the Columbian (now George Washington) University the first department of bacteriology in any American medical school.
  • Did notable work on small pox vaccine and on antitoxins for diphtheria and tetanus
  • he showed that the disease of turkeys called "blackhead" was due to a protozoan transmitted by an intestinal Worm parasite
  • he noted that animals acted hypersensitive to bacterial infections under certain circumstances. this became known as "Theobald Smith phenomenon" it was the first recorded observation of allergies.


"Theobald Smith." Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1944. Biography in Context. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.

Hoyle, Brian. "Salmonella." Food: In Context. Ed. Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2011. 695-698. In Context Series. Science in Context. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.