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Source: Herald Tribune: October 30, 1952
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Claim of Schatz To Nobel Prize Is Put Forward

Colleague Bids Committee Recognize Co-discoverer With Waksman of Drug


Dr. Elmer S. Reinthaler, vice-president of National Agricultural College, asked the Nobel Prize Committee for Medicine yesterday to reconsider last week's award of the Nobel Prize to Dr. Selman Waksman for the discovery of streptomycin, the anti-TB mold drug.

In a letter to the committee Dr. Reinthaler said that "just recognition should be given to Dr. Albert Schatz, one of our colleagues, for his contribution to the discovery of streptomycin."

As a result of a 1951 lawsuit Dr. Schatz, who is professor of microbiology at National Agricultural College, in Bucks County, Pa., won a $110,000 settlement, 3 per cent of the royalties on the drug and recognition as "legal and scientific co-discoverer" of streptomycin.

Origin of Drug Traced

Appended to the letter was Dr. Reinthaler's analysis of the history of the discovery of the drug from a mold. He traced the original scientific paper published jointly by Drs. Waksman and Schatz, their joint patent and their joint assignation of the patent to the Rutgers Research and Endowment Foundation. Both were working at Rutgers University at the time. Dr. Waksman is presently head of the Institute of Microbiology there.

Dr. Reinthaler's letter said, "We are certain that so distinguished a body as the council of the Caroline Institute (which makes the Nobel awards) could not have been aware of, and yet have ignored, certain most pertinent facts regarding the discovery."

The letter also cited the awarding of the prize on a joint basis to Sir Alexander Fleming, Dr. Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Howard Walter Florey for their discovery and development of penicillin. Dr. Reinthaler said it was the opinion of the administration and faculty of the college that just recognition should be given to Dr. Schatz.