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Source: Unknown Bergen County, NJ newspaper: c. 1952
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Ask Nobel Committee To Include Dr. Schatz


Fair Lawn-The Nobel Committee for Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden, has been requested by American scientists to reconsider the recent Nobel prize award for the discovery of streptomycin to Dr. Selman A. Waksman of Rutgers and to include as a recipient of the worldwide honor, Dr. Albert Schatz, of 15-02 Eleventh Street, Fair Lawn, who claims to be a co-discoverer with Dr. Waksman of the drug which has gained such an important place in the field of medicine.

Senior Author of Treatise

Heading the protest is Dr. Elmer S. Reinthaler, vice-president of National Agricultural College where Dr. Schatz Is professor of microbiology. Dr. Reinthaler in a letter to Professor Coran Llljestrand, Secretary of the Nobel Committee for Medicine, at the University of Stockholm, informs the committee that Dr. Schatz is the senior author of the first scientific publication announcing the dispovery of streptomycin to the world. Dr. Schatz and Dr. Waksman in the now famous paper reported the Inhibitive effect of streptomycin on tubercle bacilli in vitro. Following the publications of that paper Dr. Schatz was co-author of at least six other original and early papers on streptomycin.

Included In Patent

The patent on streptomycin awarded by the United States Patent office in 1945 was recorded jointly in the names of Dr. Schatz and Dr. Waksman as the Inventors (discovers) of streptomycin. The Patent Office as signed Patent No. 2,449,866 to the two doctors. Subsequently patents were applied for in certain foreign countries jointly by Dr. Schatz and Dr. Waksman.

In his letter to the Nobel committee Dr. Reinthaler declares "Inasmuch as the 1945 Nobel prize was awarded, in the most equitable manner, to Sir Alexander Fleming, Dr. Ernest Boris Chain, and Sir Howard Walter Florey as the joint discovers of penicillin, it is the opinion of the Administration and Faculty of this College that just recognition should be given to Dr. Albert Schatz, one of our colleagues, for his contribution to the discovery of streptomycin".

Dr. Schatz who was studying at Rutgers when he made his discovery was awarded his doctoral degree with the thesis "Streptomycin-an Antibiotic Substance produced by Actinomyces griseus". Dr. Wakaman and Rutgers University accepted this dissertation as fulfilling the requirement of that institution for an original investigation of a problem in the major field of study before awarding the degree of Doctor of Philosophy which was granted to Dr. Schatz in 1945.

Won Share Of Profits

In later developments Dr. Wakaman requested Dr. Schatz to join him in the assignment of their U. S. patents to the Rutgers Research and Endowment Foundation. Dr. Reinthaler adds that this was done and under an agreement between Dr. Schatz and Dr. Waksman neither of them would profit personally from proceeds which might be derived as the result of their joint discovery because streptomycin by its very nature was so vitally concerned with human health and even human life. Dr. Shatz said he was motivated by the actions of Sir Alexander Fleming, Dr. Chain, and Sir Howard Walter Florey who had taken similar action with their penicillin discovery.

Later, alleges Dr. Schatz, he learned that Dr. Wakaman was personally profiting from the joint patent and there followed legal action seeking a detailed accounting of the royalties paid on streptomycin. While the suit was pending an out-of-court settlement was reached whereby Dr. Schatz received a share of the profits.

Awaiting the outcome of the plea on behalf of Dr. Schatz are his parents Mr. and Mrs. Jules Schatz, of 15-02 Eleventh Street, Fair Lawn. Dr. Schatz resided with his wife and parents at the Fair Lawn address before becoming a professor at National Agricultural College, Bucks County, Pa. He taught at Brooklyn College prior to becoming a member of the National Agricultural faculty.