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Founders of Sherris Medical Microbiology

C. George Ray, MD

James J. Plorde, MD

Elizabeth Sherris

Frederick C. Neidhardt, PhD


Between the sixth and this seventh edition we have lost four scholars who significantly aided founding editor John Sherris in the formation and character of this book now known as Sherris Medical Microbiology.

George Ray was a founding author, writing on viral diseases, infectious disease syndromes, and laboratory diagnosis. For the fourth through the sixth editions, he was also coeditor of the book. Gorge, a national leader in rapid viral diagnosis, was also a decorated teacher of medical students at three medical schools, the University of Washington, the University of Arizona, and St. Louis University. At SLU, he finished his career as Chairman of Pediatrics.

Jim Plorde, also a founding author, wrote on antibiotics, bacterial diseases, parasitic diseases and infectious disease syndromes in the first through the fifth editions. Jim’s Peace Corps and international experience was reflected in his writing, particularly on parasitic diseases. In his faculty career at Washington he served as Chief of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the Seattle Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Elizabeth Sherris not only contributed to the organization of the book, she typed the first draft at a time before computers, copiers, and the Internet. Elizabeth had a keen sense of language particularly concerning the clear use of medical language which earned her the respect of the authors and the publisher. She followed later editions closely, remarking especially on the introduction of full color artwork in the fifth edition.

Fred Neidhardt was recruited as an author for the second edition during a sabbatical at Washington and continued through the fourth edition. Fred set the standard and style for the presentation of basic bacteriology to medical students, which continues today. A towering figure in bacterial physiology highlighted by his two-volume book on Escherichia coli, Fred held faculty positions at Harvard, Purdue, and Michigan, where he was Chair of Microbiology.

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