John F. Anderson (scientist)

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John Fleetezelle Anderson
3rd Director of the U.S. Hygienic Laboratory
In office
October 1, 1909 – November 19, 1915
Preceded byMilton J. Rosenau
Succeeded byGeorge W. McCoy
Personal details
Born(1873-03-14)March 14, 1873
Fredericksburg, Virginia, US
DiedSeptember 29, 1958(1958-09-29) (aged 85)
New Brunswick, New Jersey, US
NationalityUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Virginia
Known forRocky Mountain Spotted Fever, measles transmission
Scientific career
FieldsMedical research, disease transmission

John Fleetezelle Anderson (March 14, 1873 – September 29, 1958) was the third director of the United States Hygienic Laboratory, the precursor to the National Institutes of Health, from October 1, 1909 to November 19, 1915.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Anderson was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on March 14, 1871.[2] He later studied medicine and received his M.D. degree in 1895 from the University of Virginia. After graduating he studied bacteriology abroad in Vienna, Paris, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.[3]


Upon returning to the US in 1898, Anderson joined the Marine Hospital Service. In 1902, he was made assistant director of the Hygienic Laboratory,[3] and in 1909, he became the director. He resigned in 1915 to become the director of the Research and Biological Laboratories and later vice president of E. R. Squibb & Sons.

Anderson is noted for his research.[4] He is considered an early expert in Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. He developed an experimental measles model in rhesus monkeys with Joseph Goldberger.[5]

In honor for his work on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a species of wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, was named in his honor in 1908.[2]

In 1955, the University of Virginia established the John F. Anderson Memorial Lectureship in his honor.[6]

Anderson died from heart disease in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on September 29, 1958.[2][5]


  1. ^ "John F. Anderson, M.D." National Institutes of Health. August 4, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Barry, Jeannette (1960). "Notable contributions to medical research by Public health service scientists" (PDF). U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. pp. 1–2.
  3. ^ a b Kraut, Alan M. (September 1, 2004). "Goldberger's War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader". Macmillan – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Laboratory, United States Hygiene (June 2, 2018). "Hygienic Laboratory Bulletin" – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b Cohen, Sheldon (20 January 1969). "Excerpts from Classics in Allergy". BookBaby – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "The Anderson Symposium". University of Virginia School of Medicine.
Government offices
Preceded by
Milton J. Rosenau
Director of the Hygienic Laboratory
1909 – 1915
Succeeded by
George W. McCoy