H. Hugh Fudenberg

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Herman Hugh Fudenberg
Born(1928-10-24)October 24, 1928
DiedMarch 15, 2014(2014-03-15) (aged 85)
ResidenceInman, South Carolina
Other namesHugh Fudenberg
Alma materBoston University
Known forMMR vaccine controversy
Scientific career
InstitutionsRockefeller University, University of California, San Francisco
ThesisThe "erythrocyte-coating substance" of "auto-immune" hemolytic disease. (1957)

Herman Hugh Fudenberg (October 24, 1928 – March 15, 2014) was a retired clinical immunologist who ran the Neuro Immuno Therapeutics Research Foundation (NITRF) in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Fudenberg published over 600 papers,[1] including case reports and case series in the New England Journal of Medicine.[2][3]

Fudenberg was a proponent of the discredited theory that there was a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. In 1995 Fudenberg's medical license was suspended for improperly obtaining controlled substances.


He received his A.B. from UCLA in 1949 and his MD from the University of Chicago in 1953.[4] Fudenberg received his M.A. in immunochemistry from Boston University in 1957.[5]


The areas of his research, conducted primarily in the 1960s and 1970s, included research into immunoglobulin and receptors for this molecule in human monocytes,[6] as well as the ability of red blood cells to, in vitro, form "rosette" formations around peripheral blood lymphocytes.[7]

Fudenberg was hired by the Special Projects Unit of the Council for Tobacco Research in 1972, to study whether some people are genetically predisposed to emphysema. He initially found that up to 10% might be, and was planning on warning such people not to smoke tobacco, but his funding was cut off without explanation before he could do so. "They may have cut me off because it would have been negative for them," Fudenberg suggested.[8]

He trained from 1954–56 under William Dameshek, former editor of Blood and completed a residency at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital from 1956–58.[9] Fudenberg was formerly a professor (first associate, and later full) of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, as well as associate professor of immunology at the University of California, Berkeley. He was editor of the journal Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology for 15 years and developed the Rosette test as well.[10] Additionally, Fudenberg sat on the World Health Organization's expert committee on immunology for 20 years.[11] In 1974, he relocated to South Carolina, specifically the Medical University of South Carolina, where he remained as a professor until 1989.

MMR vaccine controversy[edit]

In the 1980s Fudenberg began saying the MMR vaccine causes autism – a fringe position which led to the MMR vaccine controversy. Scientific consensus concludes that no evidence links the vaccine to the development of autism, and that the vaccine's benefits greatly outweigh its risks.[12] Fudenberg published his research in the fringe journal Biotherapy (now discontinued) in 1996, concluding that "Fifteen of the [True Autism] patients developed symptoms within a week after immunization with the [MMR] vaccine"[13]; further asserting that "Fudenberg healed children, with a quarter 'fully normalised'."[14] This paper was cited by Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent 1998 Lancet paper.[15] Science decries the proposal of a vaccine-autism link as "the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years".[12]

Fudenberg stated in a 2004 interview with Brian Deer he was able to cure autistic children using his own bone marrow.[16] Fudenberg was a co-inventor of the autism "treatments" Wakefield obtained a patent for in 1997,[17] and Wakefield stated the same year in a letter to the bursary of Royal Free Hospital's School of Medicine that he was waiting on a business plan from NITRF.[18]

Flu vaccine controversy[edit]

In a 2005 episode of Larry King Live in which Bill Maher was being interviewed by Larry King, Maher argued that "if you have a flu shot for more than five years in a row, there's ten times the likelihood that you'll get Alzheimer's disease."[19] This claim has been traced by David Gorski back to Fudenberg; Gorski noted that it appeared on what he called an "über-crank" web-site.[20] Specifically, it appears Fudenberg made the claim when speaking at the 1st annual International Public Conference on Vaccination, held by the National Vaccine Information Center in Arlington, Virginia in 1997.[21] The origin of the claim is unknown, as there is no study published in a peer-reviewed journal making such a claim. One study found that past exposure to influenza vaccine actually decreased the risk of Alzheimer's.[22]

License revocation[edit]

In 1995 Fudenberg's medical license was revoked. The Casewatch website states: "the South Carolina medical board found Fudenberg "guilty of engaging in dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct," fined him $10,000, ordered him to surrender his license to prescribe controlled substances (narcotic drugs), and placed his license on indefinite suspension."[23] The board found that:

The Respondent admitted that he has on numerous occasions obtained controlled substances and legend drugs, namely, prosom, ambien, lasix, and potassium from a member of his office staff and others, and that he has unlawfully obtained these controlled substances for his own use, and has, in fact, used these medications.[23]

In an interview with The Post and Courier, Fudenberg contended that "alcohol and opiate charges are completely false" and tried to attribute many of the problems to a former staff member at NITRF.[24]


On March 15, 2014, Fudenberg died at the age of 85. He is survived by his four sons: Drew Fudenberg, Brooks R. Fudenberg, David M. Fudenberg and Hugh H. Fudenberg.[25]


  1. ^ "PubMed results for HH Fudenberg (Author)". PubMed. National Library of Medicine. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  2. ^ Gold, S. B.; Hanes, D. M.; Stites, D. P.; Fudenberg, H. H. (1974). "Abnormal Kinetics of Degranulation in Chronic Granulomatous Disease". New England Journal of Medicine. 291 (7): 332–337. doi:10.1056/NEJM197408152910704. PMID 4850362.
  3. ^ Goldberg, L. S.; Fudenberg, H. H. (1968). "Familial Selective Malabsorption of Vitamin B12". New England Journal of Medicine. 279 (8): 405–407. doi:10.1056/NEJM196808222790804. PMID 5663186.
  4. ^ CV Archived 2015-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The "erythrocyte-coating substance" of "auto-immune" hemolytic disease. Archived 2015-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Huber, H.; Polley, M. J.; Linscott, W. D.; Fudenberg, H. H.; Müller-Eberhard, H. J. (1968). "Human Monocytes: Distinct Receptor Sites for the Third Component of Complement and for Immunoglobulin G". Science. 162 (3859): 1281–1283. doi:10.1126/science.162.3859.1281. PMID 4177339.
  7. ^ Wybran, J.; Fudenberg, H. H. (1973). "Thymus-Derived Rosette-Forming Cells in Various Human Disease States: Cancer, Lymphoma, Bacterial and Viral Infections, and Other Diseases". Journal of Clinical Investigation. 52 (5): 1026–1032. doi:10.1172/JCI107267. PMC 302356. PMID 4540711.
  8. ^ Freedman, Alix M. (11 February 1993). "Smoke and Mirrors" (PDF). Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Curriculum Vitae". NeuroImmunoTherapeutics Research Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 April 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Career Highlights H. Hugh Fudenberg MD". NeuroImmunoTherapeutics Research Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 April 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Dispatches MMR documentary yields mail to this website - both for and against". Briandeer.com. 18 November 2004. Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  12. ^ a b Flaherty, D. K. (2011). "The Vaccine-Autism Connection: A Public Health Crisis Caused by Unethical Medical Practices and Fraudulent Science". Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 45 (10): 1302–4. doi:10.1345/aph.1Q318. PMID 21917556.
  13. ^ Fudenberg, H.H. Dialysable lymphocyte extract (DLyE) in infantile onset autism: a pilot study. Biotherapy. 9, 143-147, 1996.
  14. ^ Fudenberg, H. H. (1996). "Dialysable lymphocyte extract (DLyE) in infantile onset autism: A pilot study". Biotherapy (Dordrecht, Netherlands). 9 (1–3): 143–147. doi:10.1007/BF02628672. PMID 8993773.
  15. ^ Wakefield, A. J.; Murch, S. H.; Anthony, A.; Linnell, J.; Casson, D. M.; Malik, M.; Berelowitz, M.; Dhillon, A. P.; Thomson, M. A.; Harvey, P.; Valentine, A.; Davies, S. E.; Walker-Smith, J. A. (1998). "RETRACTED: Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children". The Lancet. 351 (9103): 637–641. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(97)11096-0. PMID 9500320.
  16. ^ "Royal Free autism pill partner, Herman Hugh Fudenberg, wasn't fit to prescribe". Briandeer.com. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  17. ^ Deer, Brian. "Wakefield filed for a patent on vaccine products before unleashing MMR crisis". Briandeer.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  18. ^ Deer, Brian. "Medical school talks with German drug firm before launching MMR vaccine scare". Briandeer.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  19. ^ "CNN Larry King Live Transcript". CNN. 15 December 2005. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  20. ^ Gorski, David (7 September 2009). "'Oh, come on, Superman!': Bill Maher versus 'Western medicine'". Science-based Medicine. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  21. ^ Schierling, Russ (20 September 2011). "According to the Media, it's Flu Season Again. Alzheimer's Anyone?". Archived from the original on 24 July 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  22. ^ Verreault, René; Laurin, Danielle; Lindsay, Joan; Serres, Gaston De (2001-11-27). "Past exposure to vaccines and subsequent risk of Alzheimer's disease". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 165 (11): 1495–1498. ISSN 0820-3946. PMC 81665. PMID 11762573.
  23. ^ a b Barrett, Stephen (20 April 2005). "Disciplinary Actions against Herman Hugh Fudenberg, M.D." Casewatch. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  24. ^ Langley, Lynne (21 June 1996). "Ex-MUSC immunologist cleared to practice". The Post and Courier. pp. 2B. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  25. ^ Foster, Liz (25 March 2014). "Dr. H. Hugh Fudenberg, former professor of immunology with MUSC, dies at 85". Post and Courier. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.

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