Frederick P. Gay, M.D.

Frederick P. Gay

 Brief Bio

Frederick Parker Gay (1874–1939) was the eighth president of the American Association of Immunologists, serving from 1921 to 1922. He was professor and head of the Department of Bacteriology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) from 1923 to 1939. In addition to his own pioneering studies on a variety of topics, Gay’s fundamental contributions to the field included translating and publishing several of Jules Bordet’s (AAI ’60) papers as Studies in Immunity in 1909 and defining immunology as a distinct scientific discipline in an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1911.

Gay received his M.D. at the Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1901. While still in medical school, Gay began his research career when he accompanied a Johns Hopkins commission, headed by Simon Flexner (AAI ’20), to the Philippines to study bubonic plague. Supported by the first fellowship awarded by the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, Gay was an assistant demonstrator in pathology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine from 1901 to 1903. He spent the next three years at the Pasteur Institute in Brussels, Belgium, where he studied under Bordet. Upon his return to the United States in 1906, Gay was a bacteriologist at Danvers State Hospital for the Insane in Massachusetts before becoming an assistant (1907–1909) and an instructor (1909–1910) of pathology at Harvard Medical School. He was a professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of California at Berkeley from 1910 to 1921, when he became professor and director of the new Department of Bacteriology. He left California for New York City in 1923 to accept an appointment as professor and head of the Department of Bacteriology at P&S, a position he held until his death on July 14, 1939.

 AAI Service History

Joined: 1918
President: 1921–1922
Councillor: 1922–1928

The Journal of Immunology
Board of Editors: 1916–1938

 President's Address

"On Local and General Immunity," Delivered May 1, 1922

The Journal of Immunology 8, no. 1 (1923): 1–10.

 Awards and Honors

  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1939

 Institutional/Biographical Links

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