1900 grad earned Nobel nod for scarlet fever vaccine

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1900 grad earned Nobel nod for scarlet fever vaccine

Gladys Henry Dick
Gladys Henry Dick

Editor’s Note — As part of Women’s History Month, Nebraska Today is featuring female Huskers — from the past to current day — who have made or are making impacts on campus. Today, we’re highlighting Gladys Henry Dick, a 1900 graduate who helped co-develop the scarlet fever vaccine.

A physician, Gladys Henry Dick codeveloped a vaccine for scarlet fever.

A 1900 graduate of the University of Nebraska with a degree in zoology, she took graduate classes in Lincoln until 1903, when she enrolled in Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She earned her medical degree in 1907.

She then studied in Berlin and became interested in biomedical research. After moving to Chicago, where she contracted scarlet fever, she began studying the disease’s effect on the kidneys. In 1914, she married George Dick, a co-researcher from the University of Chicago.

In 1923, Gladys and George discovered scarlet fever was caused by streptococcus bacteria. They subsequently developed a skin test to determine a patient’s susceptibility to the disease. They also created a vaccine for treatment and prevention, for which they were nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1925.

*Information provided by “Dear Old Nebraska U: Celebrating 150 Years.” (University of Nebraska Press, 2019).

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