Experiments in Artificial Anemia Earn
George Hoyt Whipple
the 1934 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Experiments in Artificial Anemia Earn

George Hoyt Whipple

the 1934 Nobel Prize in Medicine

By Blaine Whipple, © 1998


George Hoyt Whipple, a Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine in 1934, graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, MA (1896), Yale University (1900), and Johns Hopkins University medical department (1905). He was on the staff of Johns Hopkins as an instructor of pathology 1905-14, except for 1907, when he was a pathologist at the Ancon Hospital, Panama Canal Zone. His study of bile pigments beginning in 1908 led to his interest in the body's manufacture of the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin, an important element in the production of bile pigments.

Beginning in 1914, he taught research medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and began, with C.W. Hooper, director of the University's Hooper Foundation for Medical Research, a study on bile pigments (a mixture of yellow and green) and how they were affected by diets. He was dean of the medical school, 1920-21.

He began his studies on the effect of foods on the regeneration of blood cells and hemoglobin in 1918 and determined that liver was one of the best foods to stimulate the growth of new blood cells.

He became dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester (1921-53) and professor of pathology (1921-55). His experiments in artificial anemia (1923-25) helped determine that iron is the most potent inorganic factor to form red blood cells. American doctors W. P. Murphy and G.R. Minot applied his findings to the treatment of pernicious anemia in man, and the three shared the 1934 Nobel Prize. He authored more than 200 publications on anemia, pigment metabolism, blood plasma proteins, bile salt metabolism, liver injury and repair, and related subjects.

George Hoyt Whipple was born in Ashland, NH, August 28, 1878, to Ashley Cooper Whipple (1952-80) and Frances Anna Hoyt (1857-1904). He died February 1, 1976, at Rochester, NY. His Whipple lineage appears in the Whipple Database.