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William Barry Wood, Jr.

William Barry Wood, Jr.
Date: circa 1971
Medium: Color tinted photograph
Dimensions: 24.5 x 21 in.
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William Barry Wood, Jr.

1910-1971

Wood, a microbiologist and vice president of both The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, was born in Milton, Massachusetts. He received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1932 and his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1936. After an internship and residency at Johns Hopkins, Wood returned to Harvard for a year as a National Research Council fellow in bacteriology.

In 1937, he joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an assistant in medicine. In 1942, Wood was recruited as head of the department of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis and physician-in-charge at Barnes Hospital. In 1943, he was a coauthor of one of the earliest papers on the introduction of penicillin.

Returning to Johns Hopkins in 1955 to become vice president of the university and hospital, Wood also was named professor of microbiology in the schools of medicine and hygiene and public health. Wood retired as vice president in 1959 to assume directorship of the department of microbiology, a post he held until his death.

Wood's scientific contributions include more than 125 papers and a textbook on microbiology. He was among the first to describe a cellular phenomenon known as surface phagocytosis and did important work on the isolation of pyrogen. Wood received several honorary degrees as well as a number of awards, including a Distinguished Achievement Award from Modern Medicine and the Kober Medal (posthumously). The Wood Basic Science Building of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is named in his honor.

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