Peyton Rous

discovered how viruses transmit cancers

Peyton Rous - Biographical

Peyton Rous was born in Baltimore on October 5th, 1879


Since these happenings in 1909 the life of Peyton Rous as a working scientist has been halcyon. Soon after beginning it he was able to prove that some chicken tumors, to all appearances classical neoplasms, are actually started off and driven by viruses which determine their forms as well. These findings led him to spend several years trying to get similar agents from mouse cancers; but, failing in this, he left off working with tumors in 1915, turning instead to the study of other problems in physiological pathology.


The results of the study encouraged Rous to undertake further efforts in the same field, and he did not return to the theme of cancer until 1934 when a unique opportunity was offered to him. Doctor Richard Shoppe, a close friend on the Institute staff, asked Rous to work with a virus which Shoppe had discovered and found to be responsible for the giant warts often present on the skin of wild rabbits in the southwestern U.S.A. Rous could not resist this generous challenge and he has worked ever since not only with the warts themselves, which proved to be benign tumors from which cancers frequently take off but with other problems of neoplasms.

Peytons awards, family, and death

Peyton Rous received a lasker Award of the American Public Health Association, as also a United Nations Prize for Cancer Research; and during 1966 a National Medal of Science has come to him from the U S.A., and the Paul Ehrlich-Ludwig Darmstadt Award from the Federal Republic of Germany.
Investigation on cancer means more to the public than that on any other disease. It may be partly for that reason that Rous has received more than a few honors and awards.

Peyton Rous got married and had three daughters, two got married and one of their husbands died.

Doctor Peyton Rous died in New York city, NY, February 16th, 1970