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Source: The Passaic Herald-News: March 11, 1950
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Ex-Passaic Man Sues for Profit of Wonder Drug


A 30-year-old biologist who received his early schooling in Passaic has challenged the right of Dr. Selman A. Waksman, renowned scientist, to represent himself as the sole discoveror of the wonder drug streptomycin.Demands Half Interest

Dr. Albert Schatz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Schatz, 408 Lafayette Avenue, has filed suit against Dr. Waksman and the Rutgers University Research and Endowment Foundation in which he demands a half interest in all profits from the drug, and charges he was threatened with loss of his employment in the scientific fie1d unless he agreed to sign over his interest in the patent application to the foundation.

Dr. Waksman, a Rutgers professor, has assigned all profits from the manufacture and sale of streptomycin to the foundation.

Dr. Schatz's suit, however, alleges that the professor has reaped substantial rewards, both monetary and professional, and seeks to force the defendants to account for all money received for the drug and stop them from selling or assigning any interest in the patents.

The suit alleges that both scientists were decribed as co-discoverers of the drug in the original patent application. Dr. Schatz, now a resident of Brooklyn, claims that from June to October, 1943 he conducted experiments and research in continuation of prior work done by him, which eventually led to the discovery of the drug. He claims Dr. Waksman checked the results, and that thereafter the two collaborated "in the further development of the drug".

Russell E. Watson, attorney for Dr. Waksman and the foundation, said Dr. Schatz's claim was "entirely without merit", and added that the action would be "vigorously contested".

Streptomycin will kill many germs which penicillin will not, and has already been used in the treatment of tuberculosis.

Worked Under Waksman

The young scientist was born in Norwich, Conn., in 1920, and was brought to Passaic by his family when he was eight months old. He is an only son and the eldest of three children, and was graduated from Public School No. 11 (Memorial School) in 1934.

He was a classical course student at Passaic High School, from which he was graduated in 1938, remaining to take post graduate work in mathematics.

His love of soil research (streptomycin was developed from a ground mould) took him to Rutgers University's College of Agriculture, where he majored in soil microbiology. His scholastic record there was outstanding, and he was graduated in 1942 with the highest honors in his class.

Immediately following his graduation he was made a research assistant at the college, working under Dr. Wakaman.

A call from his Passaic draft hoard put him in the army, which put him in charge of medical and sanitary bacteriology research at an air forces hospital in Miami. He declined a commission because he preferred laboratory work to administration duties, and a disability discharge after six months of service sent him back to his post at Rutgers in 1943.

Dr. Schatz is married to the former Miss Vivian Rosenfeld, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rosenfeld, of Clifton. They live at 210 Riverdale Avenue, Brooklyn.