medical education. Abraham was responsible for the organization of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and became its first director. Simon Flexner's influence was felt early by Louis, who, at age seven, won a Louisville newspaper's writing contest on ''How I Intend to Earn My Living" with an essay on his intention to cure epilepsy.

Louis received his undergraduate education at the University of Chicago (B.S., 1923) after which he received his medical education at Johns Hopkins University (M.D., 1927). Flexner's rating at Hopkins placed him with Keffer Hartline (who was later to receive a Nobel Prize in physiology) at the bottom of the class of 1927, something of which both men were inordinately proud! This rating did not, of course, reflect on their intellects or abilities. Medical school proved to be difficult for Louis. He was confused by the volume of material, the variety of subject matter, and the unsettled state of numerous important areas. Essential support and stimulus from his earliest days came from Lewis H. Weed, director of the Department of Anatomy and dean of the school.

From Weed, he received an orientation that largely determined his subsequent activities and career. Soon after Flexner entered medical school, Weed started him on a problem in experimental embryology concerning the central nervous system, which was carried through to publication. For many years thereafter, his major interest centered on the development of the nerve cell. Weed also gave him a point of view towards medical education and the organization of a school of medicine.

On graduation from medical school, Flexner was not, however, certain that he wanted a career in anatomy. Thus, he welcomed an opportunity to work with the famous bio-chemist Leonor Michaelis, then at Hopkins, who was beginning his studies on oxidation-reduction potentials (1928,



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement