Albert Schat, Ph.D.
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Source: The Brooklyn Eagle: March 12, 1950
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Seeks Share of Credit for Drug Discovery

Brooklyn College Professor Claims Coauthorship of 1st Paper on Streptomycin


Dr. Albert Schalz, Brooklyn College assistant professor of microbiology who has begun suit in Trenton for half interest in the profits from the sale of streptomycin, was the senior co-author of the first scientific paper, revealing the wonder drug he told the Brooklyn Eagle yesterday.

The paper, said the 30-year-old professor, was published in January, 1944, by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, and listed "Albert Schatz, Elizabeth Bugie and Dr. Selman A. Waksman, in that order, as co-authors."

Dr. Waksman is graduate professor of microbiology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J, the recognized discoverer of the antibiotic which is being successfully used in the treatment of intestinal infections. It is also thought to be effective in fighting certain types of tuberculosis.

Patent Bid Signed to Rutgers

Dr. Waksman last May, according to a Rutgers announcement, assigned his patent application on the drug to the Rutgers Research and Endowment Foundation, stipulating that any net proceeds be used in research in microbiology. Dr. Waksman has been a staff member of the university's College of Agriculture for more than. 25 years.

Dr. Schataz, who won both his B.S, and Ph.D. degrees at Rutgers in 1943 and 1945 respectively, was a student of Dr. Waksman and worked with him in laboratory experiments.

In his New Jersey Supreme Court suit, filed last week, Dr. Schatz charged that he was deprived of his rightful share of "the rewards and fame" for the discovery by Dr. Waksman. The papers in the suit also demanded that all assignments to the Rutgers foundation be set aside, that money received in exploiting the drug be accounted for and that the foundation be restrained from selling any interest in the drug.

Dr. Schatz claimed in court that he had aided Dr. Waksman in isolating the drug, which is developed from a plant that is half fungus and half bacteria, and that the foundation is profiting from licensing commercial firms to produce the drug.

Dr. Schatz, who would not discuss the case at his modest Brownsville home at 210 Riverdale Ave., which he occupies with his wife Vivian, also a graduate biologist, and their year-old daughter, Diana, is conducting new experiments at Brooklyn College to find an antibiotic against protozoa.

It is hoped, he said, that an antibiotic can be developed that will be effective against malaria, African sleeping sickness and amoebic dysentery.

At Brooklyn College, where he has been a staff member since last September, Dr. Schatz is described by his colleagues as one of the most distinguished workers. in the antibiotic field. He is the author of more than 30 scientific papers, a second paper on streptomycin having been his thesis for his doctorate.