Skip to main content

Max B. Lurie papers

Identifier: MSS 2/115

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, personal papers, addresses, and writings, 1926-1967, of Max B. Lurie, documenting his life, professional career, and research into genetic resistance to tuberculosis.

Lurie's professional correspondence, 1928-1966, is preserved in Series 1. Principal correspondents are Lurie's colleagues or collaborators in tuberculosis research, many of them associated with the Henry Phipps Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, including Samuel Abramson, Marvin J. Allison, Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr., A. G. Heppleston, Hsiu Sheng Hsu, Esmond R. Long, Valy Menkin, Stuart Mudd, Eugene L. Opie, Max Pinner, Sidney Raffel, Paul B. Sawin, Abram B. Stavitsky, Emanuel Suter, Charles Weiss, and Peter Zappasodi. The subjects of the correspondence are Lurie's research and career at the Henry Phipps Institute, particularly his work with a rabbit colony bred to demonstrate inherited and innate resistance to tuberculosis; his published writings; evaluations and recommendations of student assistants; information concerning the exchange of tubercle bacilli strains between laboratories for research; and funding for Lurie's research and projects.

Series 1 also contains correspondence, 1935-1959, from Emanuel Gamoran, Lurie's brother in law, who was Director of the Department of Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and Lurie's correspondence, 1940-1956, with the General Electric Company, describing his work on the sterilization of air using ultraviolet light.

Lurie's personal papers, 1926-1967, are contained in Series 2. The series includes correspondence containing biographical and genealogical information; evaluations of his physical condition, including Lurie's own record of his observations of prothrombin; a typescript biography, circa 1958, by Dianne Epstein; and three photographs of Lurie taken by his colleague Peter Zappasodi in 1952.

Series 3 contains typescripts of three of Lurie's addresses concerning his work with resistance to tuberculosis, 1952-1960. Typescript and holograph manuscripts of several of Lurie's published articles, 1946-1965, including drafts of a paper describing his work with the rabbit colony at the Phipps Institute, along with related correspondence, bibliographies, andjbook reviews, are preserved in Series 4.


  • 1926 - 1957


Biographical / Historical

Max Bernard Lurie, tuberculosis researcher, was born on 12 September 1893 in Telshee, Lithuania. He came to the United States in 1907. He married Rose Gamoran in 1922; the Luries had one son, Abraham A. ("Avi") Lurie. Max B. Lurie died in Philadelphia on 23 September 1966.

Lurie received an A.B. from the College of the City of New York in 1917, then an M.D. from Cornell University in 1921. At this time, he contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, entered the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives, was cured, and began his research career. In 1926, he joined the Henry Phipps Institute of the University of Pennsylvania as a Fellow in Pathology, and worked closely with Eugene L. Opie, director of the Institute. Lurie spent the rest of his career at the Phipps Institute. After his fellowship, he was an Assistant Professor of Experimental Pathology, then Associate Professor, and, finally, full Professor, from 1955 until his retirement in 1962, when he was granted Emeritus status.

Lurie is best known for his research and contributions to the study of innate and genetic resistance to tuberculosis. Most of his research at the Phipps Institute was based on a colony of rabbits which Lurie bred to illustrate hereditary resistance and susceptibility to the disease. He also isolated the roles of the cortico adrenal hormones and thyroid hormone derivatives in response to infection, worked on the destruction of tubercle bacilli by the human macrophage, and, in conjunction with W. F. Wells, used ultraviolet light to sterilize air. Lurie published many articles and described his later work in Resistance to tuberculosis: experimental studies in native and acquired defensive mechanisms which was published in 1964.

Lurie received several honors for his work, including the Dearbolt lectureship, the Claude Bernard Medal, the Trudeau Medal, and the Philadelphia Tuberculosis and Health Association Award. He was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1947, was a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Association of Pathology and Bacteriology, the Association of Immunology, and the Society of Experimental Biologists.


3.5 Linear feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The Max B. Lurie Papers were donated to the Historical Collections of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia by the Estate of Max B. Lurie, circa 29 November 1969. A preliminary survey was made, probably in the 1970s. The collection was processed and catalogued in June 1990.
Max B. Lurie papers
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States