Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Endowed Professor Spotlight: Derek Linton
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Endowed Professor Spotlight: Derek Linton

Professor of History Derek Linton, who holds the Joseph P. DiGangi Chair, has been a member of the Hobart and William Smith faculty since 1984. A national authority on the history of medicine and immunology, Linton teaches a range of courses examining the intersections of science, public health and major world events, including World War I and World War II.

“The endowed professorship has contributed substantially to my ability to conclude my research and carry on writing my book in progress on German military medicine, public health and the prevention of infectious diseases during World War I,” he says.

Linton is the author of Who Has the Youth, Has the Future, which explores German youth policy in the early 20th century, and Emil von Behring: Infectious Disease, Immunology, Serum Therapy, the first major English-language biography of von Behring, who won the first Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1901 for diphtheria antitoxin serum. The later book explores von Behring’s contributions to the study of infectious diseases, basic immunology and drug testing, as well as his relations to the rival schools of Pasteur and Koch, the emergent pharmaceutical industry and the creation of institutes for experimental therapeutic research. Linton received the John Frederick Lewis Award from the American Philosophical Society when the biography was published in 2005.

A member of the American Association for the History of Medicine, the American Historical Association and the German Studies Association, Linton has also served on National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health grant review panels for the past decade. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton University.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.