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Eugene L. Opie was the fifteenth president of the American Association of Immunologists, serving from 1928 to 1929. Opie inspired colleagues and students with his pioneering research on several diseases, including diabetes, tuberculosis, and cancer. He also helped shape medical education in the United States as an administrator at several of the country’s leading medical schools during the first half of the twentieth century.
Opie, a member of the first graduating class of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, received his M.D. in 1897. For the next seven years, he remained at Johns Hopkins, progressing from fellow (1898–1899) to assistant (1899–1900), instructor (1900–1901), and associate (1901–1904) in bacteriology. Opie was among the select group of scientists whom Simon Flexner (AAI ’20) invited to join the staff of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research when its laboratories opened in 1904. After six years as an associate (1904–1906) and member (1906–1910) at the Rockefeller Institute, he joined the faculty of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he was professor of pathology (1910–1923) and dean (1912–1915). From 1923 to 1931, Opie held a dual appointment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as professor and director of the Department of Pathology and director of laboratories at the university-affiliated Henry Phipps Institute. He spent the next 10 years serving concurrently as professor of pathology at the Cornell University Medical College and pathologist at the New York Hospital. In 1941, Opie officially retired at the statutory age of 68, but he continued scientific research as a “guest investigator” at the Rockefeller Institute for another 29 years, finally calling an end to his productive scientific career at the age of 97 in 1970.
Councillor: 1927–1928, 1929–1934
"Inflammation and Immunity," Delivered March 27, 1929
The Journal of Immunology 17, no. 4 (1929): 329–42.