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December 2017

Joseph Goldberger—Public Health Champion and Investigator of Pellagra

Author Affiliations
  • 1Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(12):1262. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4044

Joseph Goldberger, MD (1874-1929), was an American physician whose commitment to public health led him to risk his own health and to confront the medical and political establishments of his day. In 1899, not long after graduating from Bellevue Hospital Medical College, Goldberger joined the US Marine Hospital Service (later the Public Health Service).1 Initially, his duties included inspecting immigrants in the Port of New York, but he soon became fascinated by epidemiology and infectious diseases. As a quarantine officer, Goldberger traveled extensively to study outbreaks of yellow fever, dengue fever, and typhus, and managed to contract each of these on his visits.1