Sophie Spitz (1910-1956) biographical file
File contains a reprint, and biographical article by Dr. Christoph Lser.
- 1991 - 2010
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Historical or Biographical Note
Dr. Sophie Spitz, known for her landmark description of juvenile melanoma lesions, was born on 4 February 1910 in Nashville, Tennessee. She received her undergraduate (1929) and medical degrees (1934) from Vanderbilt University. She interned and then did a pathology residency at New York Infirmary for Women and Children. In 1939, she worked as a bacteriologist at Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases. Two years, later she was named Assistant Attending Pathologist, a position she held until her death in 1956. From 1938 to 1943 she was also Assistant Medical Examiner for New York City. From 1943 to 1945, Spitz worked at theArmy Medical Museum in Washington, D.C. During her short time at the institute, she authored Pathology of Tropical Diseases with Colonel James Earl Ash. She returned to New York after the WWII, and resumed her work at both the Infirmary and Memorial. In 1948 she published her classic article Melanomas of childhood, in American Journal of Pathology. She was also the first to describe the carcinogenicity of the aromatic amines used in the dye industry. Spitz worked until just days before her untimely death on August 11, 1956. She died at just 46 years of age of metastatic colon carcinoma. The eponymous term Spitz Nevus is used to describe the juvenile lesions she described.
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