T h e P a s s a i c H e r a l d - N e w s : J u n e 4 , 1 9 5 4
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Long after life-saving streptomycin has been supplanted by better medicines, a monument at Rutgers University which it has made possible will continue to serve mankind. The monument is the $3,500,000 Rutgers Institute of Microbiology, which is to be dedicated Monday.
Royalties from streptomycin will pay for the building and its laboratories. Streptomycin was the discovery of Dr. Selman Waksman, pioneer in microbiology and Nobel Prize winner, and of his protege, Dr. Albert I. Schatz, the former Passaic boy who later fell out with his teacher and the university which catapulted him to fame. They were assisted by a devoted staff of researchers.
Streptomycin has exceeded expectations. It came upon the scene when penicillin was still new and spoken of with awe. Streptomycin's ability to destroy the tough tuberculosis germ gave it great promise. But it also had faults which seemed to doom it to a short life as a stopgap until something better came along. Now, 10 years after it was first released for experimental use on humans, streptomycin is still a weapon the physician would not want to surrender. It is being produced at the rate of nearly $100,000,000 worth a year.
The work of the institute will be the investigation of the microscopic forms of life. Of first importance to human beings is the light these inquiries will shed on disease. But to attempt to catalogue the possibilities would be futile, because no one can even guess at some of the discoveries that will be made at the institute.
Streptomycin has more than justified the years spent in its search. The lives it has saved did that long ago. The Rutgers institute is a bonus that will serve mankind by making life better for generations to come.