After loss, a medical journey begins

(Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

Built in 1926 by famous architect Albert Kahn, the Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research on Observatory Street was the result of a $400,000 bequest to the university. The money was given by Christine Simpson of Detroit in honor of her late husband, Thomas Henry Simpson, who died of pernicious anemia in 1923. Her gift stipulated that the institute should be primarily devoted “to the study of pernicious anemia, the alleviation of the suffering of persons afflicted with that disease, and the discovery of a cure for the same.” In the first 13 years of the institute’s existence, approximately 1,000 patients with pernicious anemia were seen, as well as many patients with other types of anemia. In 1929, the investigators at the institute introduced a new and effective form of treatment for the disease, which is derived from hog stomach (ventriculin). It now is widely used.

— Adapted from “University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey, Bicentennial Edition” and the University of Michigan Millennium Project



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