Pearl Kendrick Facts

Pearl Kendrick Facts
Pearl Louella Kendrick (August 24, 1890 to October 8, 1980) was an American bacteriologist. Kendrick developed the first vaccine for whooping cough. This vaccine was so successful that she was invited to become a member of the Whooping Cough Immunization Committee of the Medical Research Council of Great Britain.
Interesting Pearl Kendrick Facts:
Pearl Louella Kendrick was born in Wheaton, Illinois where he father was a minister.
She attended Greenville College and then transferred to Syracuse University where she received a B.S. in 1914.
She received a PhD in bacteriology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932.
After graduation she moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to work for the Western Michigan Branch Laboratory of the Michigan Dept of Health.
Her co-worker was Grace Eldering who worked on the development of the vaccine with her.
At the time of their discovery whooping cough killed 6,000 people per year and 95% of them were children.
The team of Kendrick and Eldering conducted the first, large scale, controlled trial of the pertussis vaccine and declared it successful.
Michigan started inoculating children with the vaccine in 1940 and deaths from whooping cough declined.
They worked with other countries to standardized the vaccine
Their laboratory developed cough plate diagnostics and offered it to local physicians during the epidemic.
An article in the Reader's Digest magazine hailed their study as one of the "greatest field tests in microbe=hunting history."
She retired from the Michigan Department of Public Health in 1951.
From 1951 to 1960 she was a faculty member of the Department of Epidemiology of the University of Michigan.
She was president of the Michigan branch of the American Society for Microbiology.
Dean Richard Remington of the Michigan University School of Public Health said of Kendrick after her death, "Dr. Kendrick never became rich ...or famous. All she did was save hundreds of thousands of lives at modest cost."


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