Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, Stati Uniti
86 Irving St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Mount Auburn Cemetery Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Francis "Frank" Cabot Lowell (August 6, 1909 – December 31, 1979) was Lincoln Kirstein''s Harvard roommate and possible first love.
Francis Cabot Lowell was born in Boston on August 6, 1909, but lived most of his life in Concord, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College, received his M.D. from the Harvard Medical School in 1936, served as a house officer on the Harvard service at the Boston City Hospital, and then as a research fellow at the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory. He then moved across the street to Boston University where Dr. Chester Keefer was setting up what was, in its day, one of the leading medical services in the country at the Evans Memorial in the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital (now University Hospital). He was put in charge of the Allergy Clinic, learning allergy on the job from Dr. Sanford Hooker, a pioneer in allergy and immunology who, in 1935, had been president of the Society for the Study of Asthma and Allied Conditions, which later joined with the American Association for the Study of Allergy to form the current American Academy of Allergy.
In 1938 he married Elizabeth Homer Shurcliff (1913-2007). They had three childrens: Francis Cabot (born 1939), Charles Russell (born 1942) and Thomas Homer (born 1947).
Dr. Lowell taught at Boston University from 1940 to 1959, during which time he also served as assistant dean in charge of admissions. In 1959, he moved across town to the Massachusetts General Hospital where he was head of the Allergy Clinic and the Allergy Unit until his retirement in 1975.
Twenty-seven physicians were postgraduate fellows under his direction. Twenty of these became members or fellows of the American Academy of Allergy. In addition, others, including two presidents of the Academy, received training in his clinics. He served the Academy as Secretary from 1954 to 1958 and was President in 1959. He was on the editorial board of their journal for 18 years from 1947 to 1965, serving as Associate Editor in 1956 and Editor for the next 6 years. He was a member of the Subspecialty Board of Allergy of the American Board of Internal Medicine from 1940 to 1957 and was Chairman during 1956 and 1957.
Frank Lowell made great contributions to medical knowledge. He was an author or co-author of 147 papers, many of them classics in the field. He was often ahead of his time and what he discovered was rediscovered by others 10 years later.
The 1970s saw his official retirement but he continued to practice allergy and to write. His last paper, “Myths, Morbidity and Mortality in Asthma, ” written with his colleagues in practice, Drs. Robert McCombs and John Ohman, appeared only 3 months before his death.
In addition to his medical activities he was a dedicated conservationist and served on state and local committees to regulate the use of pesticides. He was an avid gardener and enjoyed the distinction of having a species of pine tree named after him. He enjoyed cruising in his sailboat off Cape Cod. Indeed, he loved to teach others about his hobbies as well as his profession.
In addition to all of Frank’s scientific and humanitarian achievements, his personal qualities will perhaps be best remembered. The phrase most often used to describe him was “a gentleman and a scholar! ”
His qualities of wisdom, patience, and quiet strength were ever present, and became imbred in all who had the privilege of being his students or associates. He taught far more by example than by didactic lecture.
Frank Lowell died sucklenly at home from a myocardial infarction at age 70, ‘still actively engaged in the practice of allergy, research, and medical education.
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