Dr. Ernest Goodpasture (1886-1960) was a Vanderbilt pathologist, best known for his method of growing uncontaminated viruses in chick embryos. During his early years at Vanderbilt, Dr. Goodpasture and his associates carried out studies that laid the groundwork for subsequent explosive developments in virology and the development of vaccines.
Ernest Goodpasture was born October 17, 1886, about seven miles from Clarksville, Tennessee. Following graduation from Vanderbilt in 1907, Dr. Goodpasture taught for a year at Allegheny Collegiate Institute in Alderson, West Virginia. In the fall of 1908, he entered the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Goodpasture accepted the opportunity as a Rockefeller Fellow in Pathology with Dr. Welch.
From 1913 to 1915, Dr. Goodpasture was a member of the resident staff in Pathology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Instructor in Pathology at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. From 1915 to 1918, he was on the resident staff of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital with an appointment as Instructor in Pathology at the Harvard Medical School. His appointment as Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard in 1918 concluded in 1922 after concurrent service in the United States Navy Medical Service and a faculty position at the University of the Phillipines.
Dr. Goodpasture was director of the William H. Singer Research Laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1922 to 1924. He resigned from the post to become Professor and Head of the Department of Pathology at the reorganized Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The year 1924-25 was spent as a Rockefeller Scholar at the Institute for General and Experimental Pathology at the University of Vienna. On returning to Vanderbilt in 1925, Dr. Goodpasture assumed the duties of Professor and Head of the Department of Pathology. He held this appointment until his retirement in 1955.
From 1942 to 1950, Dr. Goodpasture, in addition to his departmental activities, served first as Associate Dean and later as Dean of the Medical School. In 1950, he resigned the Deanship and thereafter devoted himself to his chosen field of Pathology.
In 1955 Dr. Goodpasture retired from the active faculty and became Professor of Pathology, Emeritus. In that same year, he became Scientific Director of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC. After four productive years, Dr. Goodpasture resigned to return to Tennessee and to Vanderbilt. He had resumed his research in the spring of 1960 when he died at home of a heart attack on September 20, 1960.
For more information and pictures please see the VUMC Online Biography of Dr. Goodpasture.