Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Department of Pathology, 1893
Beginning in 1893 pathology was taught at the medical school through lectures and laboratories. Henry W. Dudley was named the first professor and chair of the department and served in that capacity until 1900. That year Dr. Timothy Leary was appointed chairman; he went on to serve for twenty-nine years. During this period he brought prestige to the department through the quality of his teaching and his development of a testing laboratory; this reputation in turn helped attract increased numbers of applicants and much-needed income.
After Dr. Leary retired, interim leadership was provided by Drs. Tracy B. Mallory (1929-1930); Harold MacMahon (1930-1931); and Sidney C. Dalrymple (1931-1933). In 1933 Dr. MacMahon was appointed the first full-time chair and professor of pathology. He subsequently became responsible for teaching both pathology and bacteriology to medical and dental students and for organizing the development of the department. In order to raise funds for this purpose, he made arrangements to provide pathology services to many of the community hospitals in the greater Boston area in exchange for a fee. These funds were then deposited with the college for use by the department. Dr. MacMahon later became successful in recruiting additional faculty, which allowed him to focus on the teaching of pathology. He remained a devoted and highly respected teacher throughout his thirty-eight-year tenure.
When Dr. MacMahon retired in 1970, Dr. Martin Flax, a former member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School who holds a Ph. D. from Columbia University, an M.D. from the University of Chicago, and an M.S. in health management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was named professor and chair. He also became chief at the New England Medical Center. Under his aegis, additional faculty have been recruited, the department has been renovated and equipped with modern instruments, a graduate program has been instituted, and the residency has been reorganized. Dr. Flax has also supervised the development of a major departmental research program. Originally, immunology and cancer biology research received major emphasis; however, in recent years the program has focused on research involving molecular biology and eukaryotic genetics. The department has been very successful in obtaining research support - it now receives over $3.5 million - and has achieved both a national and international reputation for its work.
Since 1970, when the school introduced "systems" teaching to the curriculum, the pathology department has sponsored a general course for first-year students as well as a component that is incorporated into each of the "systems" courses for second-year students. The department is well known for the quality of its teaching, and members of the faculty have been the recipients of many "excellence in teaching" awards given by graduating classes. The graduate program has also been successful and has attracted increasing numbers of applicants over the years.
Source: COE, 146-47.