September 16, 1983

The Rous Sarcoma Virus

Author Affiliations

From the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Medical School, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

JAMA. 1983;250(11):1447-1449. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340110061038

Francis Peyton Rous was a pathologist who received his clinical training as a medical student under William Osier at the Johns Hopkins Medical School and his training in pathology with Warthin at the University of Michigan and with Schmorl in Dresden, Germany. Like many physicians of that time, he contracted the occupational disease of pathologists, tuberculosis, first as a medical student during an autopsy; the resultant tuberculous axillary gland was later excised. Following his postgraduate training in pathology, pulmonary tuberculosis developed, which necessitated a period in the New York Adirondack Mountains for recovery.

Rous had initially desired to be a botanist or a writer and, in fact, had given evidence of these inclinations during his early teens. After the death of his father, his mother rejected the idea of joining her family in Texas; instead, she chose to stay in Baltimore, where there were excellent educational opportunities for her two