Rebecca Craighill Lancefield
(born January 5
; died March 3
) was a prominent American microbiologist
. She joined the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research
in New York in 1918 and was associated to that institute throughout her long and outstanding career. Her bibliography comprises of more then 50 publications published over 60 years. Her main achievments lie in the her work on group A streptococci
and its association with rheumatic fever
. She is most famous for her serological
classification of hemolytic streptococcal bacteria
. This is based upon the carbohydrate
composition of bacterial antigen
. The Lancefield classification system is still used internationally today.
She was born at Fort Wadsworth
, Staten Island
, New York
. She was educated at Wellesley College
and Columbia University
, New York. At Columbia, she gained her Ph.D.
in 1925. Eventually, she became professor
at Columbia University from 1958-1965. In 1943 she was the second woman to become President of the Society of American Bacteriologists. In 1961, she became President of the American Association of Immunologists, the only woman to be President of that Association. In 1970 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1973 she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science
) by the Columbia University.