EVENT: JDC Archives Webinar by Dr. Merry Fitzpatrick and Dr. Irwin Rosenberg: "Heroic Medical Research from the Warsaw Ghetto: Preserving a JDC Legacy" (April 19)

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Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 12 pm -1:30 pm Eastern Time



In recognition of Yom Hashoah, the JDC Archives and the Feinstein Center at Tufts University present a lecture by Merry Fitzpatrick and Irwin Rosenberg on Heroic Medical Research from the Warsaw Ghetto: Preserving a JDC Legacy. In 1942, a group of 23 Jewish doctors, themselves prisoners of the Warsaw Ghetto, decided to defy their Nazi captors by documenting the biological effects of starvation on the ghetto population. Risking immediate execution if discovered, these doctors managed to conduct robust research on starvation, providing evidence that is unique and informative even now, 80 years after the final destruction of the ghetto. Smuggled out of the ghetto and hidden until Poland’s liberation, 6 surviving scientific articles were then published by the JDC and distributed to scientists around the world. Sadly, very few of the authors survived more than a year after the studies were conducted. One copy of the book recently surfaced in the Tufts University library, renewing interest in both the scientific evidence and the amazing story behind this precious book.

Dr. Merry Fitzpatrick has worked for more than 25 years to address severe food insecurity, first as a humanitarian practitioner and currently as a Research Assistant Professor at the Feinstein International Center (FIC), Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. As a humanitarian practitioner, Dr. Fitzpatrick worked for multiple aid organizations, leading disaster responses in most regions of the world. Her current research spans various aspects of starvation and severe food insecurity, from the biological changes during starvation, especially kwashiorkor, to the livelihoods and food systems through which households access food and meet competing needs in a conflict setting. Dr. Fitzpatrick holds a B.S. in chemistry from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.B.A. with a concentration in international development from Hope International University, and a Ph.D. from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

Dr. Irwin Rosenberg is the Jean Mayer University Professor of Medicine and Nutrition Emeritus at Tufts University and has published more than 500 articles on topics ranging from child malnutrition, to nutritional influences on the aging brain including functions of micronutrients such as folic acid and vitamin B12. He has been Editor in Chief of Nutrition Reviews, the Food and Nutritional Bulletin, and the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter.

Dr. Rosenberg was educated at the University of Wisconsin (BS), Harvard (MD) Mass General Hospital ((Medical Residency) and National Institutes of Health. He was the Thompson Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago and Dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts where he established the center for Humanitarian studies now called the Feinstein International Center.

This webinar is co-sponsored by the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.


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