George R. Callender

George R. Callender


Born: 13 May 1884, Everett, Massachusetts

Died: 1973

Academic Degrees

  • MD: Tufts Medical College, Boston, Massachusetts, 1908
  • Graduate: Army Medical School, 1913

Academic Positions

  • 1909 - 1911 Instructor in Pathology and Bacteriology, Tufts Medical College, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1947 Chief of Pathology, Veterans Administratio

Military Service

  • 1912 - 1945 1st Lieutenant, Medical Corps (Reserve), advancing through grades to Brigadier General

Military Assignments

  • 1919 - 1920 Assistant Curator, Army Medical Museum
  • 1920 - 1922 Curator, Army Medical Museum

Selected Career Highlights

  • The first officer to be assigned as Curator, Army Medical Museum, who was recognized as a qualified pathologist. Organized the Museum into a dynamic center of pathology. He saw to the reactivation of the original directive of The Surgeon General in creating the museum requiring that pathologic material from military hospitals be sent to it. Later in the 1920's the directive was amplified to include such surgical material as would have possible future administrative and scientific value.

  • Wrote Pathology of the Acute Respiratory Diseases (1929) from materials collected in World War I.

  • Became well-known as an ophthalmic pathologist and published several papers on melanomas of the eye and his classification of these tumors as a guide to prognosis received international acceptance.

  • Established the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology (1922) and Lymphatic Tumor Registry (1925). Inaugurated a program for the American Registry of Pathology under the sponsorship of the National Academy of Sciences. These were established in collaboration with their respective societies and his objective was to use the mechanism already established to foster the development of additional registries, to tighten the relationships of the Museum with the national societies representing the different medical specialties. With the active support of The Surgeon General, the American Registry of Pathology became a co-responsibility of the Division of Medical Sciences/National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, The Surgeon General of the Army, and the Army Medical Museum.

  • Carried out animal experiments on wound ballistics, one of the few studies on this important phase of military medicine. This had important implications in the development of battlefield surgery.

  • Had special interest in tumors of the lymphatic system and was one of the first to emphasize the diagnostic importance of the reticulum stain. His classification of lymphatic tumors (1934) supplied the basis for our modern concepts of this group.

  • Decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal.

  • President of the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists (1930) and the American Association of Tropical Medicine (1933).

  • As President of the Army Medical Research Board, in Manila, he studied the dysentery problem and recognized the importance of early laboratory diagnosis, stressing the importance of cytologic examination of fresh stool specimens for the rapid differential diagnosis of bacillary and amebic dysentery. Served on this Board on different tours including the Philippines and Panama. Wrote papers on leprosy, TB, amebic and bacillary dysentery, hook worm disease, malaria and arthritis.

  • Ended his career as Commandant of the Army Medical Service Graduate School in Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the emphasis on tropical and viral diseases. In an exhibition of remarkable foresight he established a center for the laboratory diagnosis of viral diseases.


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