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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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research institute similar to the research institutes of the Public Health Service and try to find new treatments and cures for the patients of the City.

Now, this came about in my mind because the City was involved in the discovery of a new drug for tuberculosis. In 1952, two doctors, Selikoff and Robiosek, found that a drug called Isoniazid cured people with tuberculosis who had been put in a ward at the Staten Island Seaview Hospital, and they'd been put there because it was considered that under the present therapy there was no hope for them, and they were sure to die within three months. Well, these two doctors went in with this drug that had shown some promise in animals and treated them with this drug and another called Iproniazid, which later was called Marsalid, and this had a very important effect, Marsalid, which I'll discuss later.

Well, at any rate, Isoniazid was shown to be non-toxic and of the people of whom it was said were sure to die, 78 percent of them didn't die. Now, this was considered absolutely amazing. Streptomycin had been given to them, but these were people resistant to Streptomycin, and they didn't die. I knew of this through publicity and through the Board of Hospitals, and I was very moved by this.

I got the Surgern General, who was then Leonard Sheely, to go to Seaview to look at the X-rays, and I also got Howard Rusk to go, and both of them were so surprised by this that they were incredulous and they almost didn't believe it at the time. However, it was true, and I saw by the use of a drug

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