John A. Oates Papers

Identifier: EBL-0107

  • Staff Only

Content Description

Papers and materials documenting Dr. Oates' research and teaching activities as Chair of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, and the Department of Medicine. The types of materials need to be described when collection is fully processed. Single boxes - 57 lin. Ft.; Double boxes - 62 lin. ft.; Filing Cabinets - 40 lin ft.

As of July 2014, there are only 15 feet of Oates records. Records documenting the deaccession are not available.


  • 1963-1998


Conditions Governing Access

All collections are subject to applicable Vanderbilt privacy and confidentiality policies. Collection specific restrictions: No Restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by History of Medicine Collections, Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University.

Biographical / Historical

John A. Oates, MD, was an internationally known physician at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and considered among the founders f the discipline of Clinical Pharmacology, Dr. Oates, the Thomas F. Frist Sr. Professor of Medicine, founded the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt in 1963 as a joint division of the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, and he chaired the Department of Medicine from 1983 to 1997. In the laboratory, Dr. Oates made fundamental contributions to current understanding of the effects of aspirin on prostacyclin and thromboxane and platelet function. His publications have been cited more than 36,000 times. A native of North Carolina, Dr. Oates earned his bachelor’s degree in 1953 from Wake Forest College (now Wake Forest University) and his medical degree from the college’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1956. He received clinical training at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and research training at the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was a clinical associate and senior investigator. In 1959 he and his colleagues observed that a drug called methyldopa appeared to lower blood pressure. At the time there were no effective treatments for severe hypertension, which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure. Methyldopa, developed and marketed as Aldomet by Merck, became the first. Among Dr. Oates’ many discoveries, those in the field of prostaglandin biology are most noted. Prostaglandins are members of a large family of molecules called eicosanoids that are derived from fatty acids, predominantly arachidonic acid, and which have varied and profound physiological and pathophysiological effects. He died in Nashville, July 30, 2019.

Excerpted from VUMC REPORTER August 1, 2019


17.97 Cubic Feet (14 Page Boxes)

Language of Materials



Papers and materials beloging to Dr. John A. Oates documenting his research and teaching activities. Dr. Oates served as Chair of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt in 1963 as a joint division of the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, and he chaired the Department of Medicine from 1983 until his retirement in 1997.

Physical Location

EBL Vault

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dr. John A. Oates (recalled and assumed but confirm).

John A. Oates Papers
Historiy of Medicine Collections Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Eskind Biomedical Library Manuscripts Collection Repository

Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232


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This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

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