Elise L'Esperance, American pathologist

Elise L'Esperance, American pathologist

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Credit: SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: American pathologist and physician Elise L'Esperance (1878-1958) receiving the Albert Lasker Award from the American Public Health Association, in 1951. L'Esperance graduated from the Woman's College of the New York Infirmary in 1900. She initially worked in paediatrics before moving from practice to research in pathology, becoming assistant professor in pathology at Cornell University Medical School in 1920. Her research centered on cancer and its early detection. In 1932 she set up the first of three clinics, the Kate Depew Strang Tumor Clinic, for the early diagnosis of cancer in women. The work of her clinics showed the benefits of yearly examinations to early cancer detection and prevention, leading to similar clinics being set up across the United States.

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