Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project Washington University School of Medicine Bernard Becker Medical Library
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Ruth Silberberg

Interviewer: Estelle Brodman Ruth Silberberg, 1978
Date: January 16, 1976
Identifier: OH020
Approximate Length: 53 min.
Biographical Information: Pathologist, 1906-1997. Silberberg was born in Germany and received her medical degree from the University of Breslau in 1931. She trained in pathology at the University until 1934, when she and her husband, Martin Silberberg, MD, fled to Canada to escape emerging Nazism. They conducted research in pathology at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia until 1936, when they moved to St. Louis to join the Department of Pathology at the Washington University School of Medicine. After a four-year fellowship at New York University from 1941 to 1944, the Silberbergs returned to Washington University as instructors in Pathology. They often collaborated on research, particularly the study of aging and degenerative arthritis, until Martin Silberberg's death in 1966. In 1968 Ruth Silberberg was named professor of Pathology and professor emeritus in 1975. She then emigrated to Israel where she remained active in medical research until her death.
Summary: Silberberg discusses differences in medical education in Europe and the United States. She also discusses changes in the field of pathology in general and in the Department of Pathology at the Washington University School of Medicine over the course of her career. Changes due to the development of electron microscopy are recalled, as well as the difficulties Silberberg encountered working under dean of the medical school and head of the pathology department, Robert A. Moore. Silberberg talks of leaving Germany because of the rise of Nazism and her husband and her coming to St. Louis to work in with Leo Loeb. She also describes her research in growth and aging, the study of osteoarthritis, and the relation of diabetes and joint disease.
Notes: Sound level of audio recording is not consistent.

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