Albert Schat, Ph.D.
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Source: The Hilltop Star (Passaic High School): May 10, 1946
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Latin, Science Group Hear Noted Alumnus

Dr. Albert Schatz Recounts Streptomycin Germ Discovery


Dr. Albert Schatz, alumnus of Passic High, class of 1938, addressed the Latin Club on the subject of streptomycin last Friday.

A former student of Latin, Dr. Schatz received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942, and his degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1945. Dr. Schatz had to complete two problems in order to receive this degree. The first of these was to discover a drug that would kill bacteria which could not be killed by penicillin. The second was to find a drug to fight tuberculosis.

Isolates Quantity

In his research on the first problem Dr. Schatz isolated a quantity found in soil germ. After experimenting with this quantity Dr. Schatz found that it not only had effect on bacteria which penicillin could not kill, but also on tuberculosis. Therefore the discovery of this quantity which was called streptomycin solved both problems.

At the Latin Club meeting, to which the Science Department was invited, Dr. Schatz spoke of the soil as a source for germs with curative power. He said that disease germs which are absorbed in the soil are killed by soil cells. In a search for microbes, he added, the scientists finds more bacteria in a half teaspoon of soil than there are people in the world.

Worked at Rutgers

Dr. Schatz is now working at the New Jersey Agriculture Experimental Station at Rutgers University. He is doing further experimentation with streptomycin and its effect on tuberculosis. In connection with his work, Dr. Schatz enjoys hiking to find mosses, fungi, and lichens. He classifies these plants and in doing 'so often finds many containing curative bacteria.