Dr. James A. Shannon - 1961
Dr. Shannon, widely recognized in the scientific world for his original research in kidney function, chemotherapy, and malaria, is Director of the National Institutes of Health, the major research division of the U.S. Public Health Service, at Bethesda, Maryland. As an Assistant Surgeon General, Dr. Shannon carries a special responsibility for the formulation of broad national research policies and the coordination of the various research activities of the Public Health Service.
Dr. Shannon's career has been devoted to medical research, teaching, and public health service. Born in Hollis, New York, in 1904, Dr. Shannon graduated from Holy Cross in 1925, received his medical degree from N.Y.U. in 1929, and his Ph.D. in physiology from N.Y.U. in 1935. In 1931, he entered medical teaching at N.Y.U. and in 1942 , he became Director of Research Service at Goldwater Memorial Hospital, a medical division of New York University. He has served as guest investigator in physiology at Cambridge University, and as a member of the staff of the Marine Biological Laboratory at the Woods hole, Massachusetts. From 1946 to 1949, he was Director of the Squibb Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Shannon has been associated with the U.S. Public Health Service since 1949, and in 1955 he received the post of Director of the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda.
During World War II, Dr. Shannon played a prominent part in malaria research activities of the National Research Council, and was a consultant on tropical diseases to the Secretary of War. In recognition of this work he received the Medal of Merit, one of the highest awards for civilian service in government.
In view of these accomplishments, Villanova University chose this truly deserving Catholic layman, scientist, and father as the recipient of the Mendel Medal award, given in memory of another great Catholic man of science.
The Mendel Medal Bulletin. Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania. XXVI: 42 (1962).