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Donald S. Fredrickson (1924–2002)

Donald S. Fredrickson, M.D., a leading researcher on the link between lipids and fats and heart disease, was NIH Director from 1975 to 1981. In the 1960s, he discovered the genetic disorders known as Tangier disease, which involves the absence of high-density lipoproteins, and cholesteryl ester storage disease, a lysosomal enzyme deficiency. Later in his career he led the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute. Dr. Fredrickson was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1971 and the National Academy of Science in 1973; he received the Canada Gairdner Award in 1978.

The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum has gathered the following growing list of resources concerning Dr. Fredrickson:

Dr. Fredrickson's Own Reflections
The Recombinant DNA Controversy: A Memoir, 2001
Reflection on Recombinant DNA Molecule Program Advisory Committee in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 2001 (PDF, 229 kB)
Lecture on the history of NIH at the University of Alabama Birmingham, 1991 (PDF, 591 kB)
Interview with NIH Office of History, 1998 (PDF, 57 kB)
Article on the challenging scope of biomedical research in Nature, 1987 (PDF, 324 mB)
Article on changes in biomedical research in the 1980s in New England Journal of Medicine, 1981 (PDF, 1.47 mB)
Article on the federal government’s role in nutrition in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1981 (PDF, 185 kB)
Essay on the history of NIH in Public Health Reports, 1978 (PDF, 1.7 mB)
Article about academics in medicine in the Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 1968 (PDF, 1.6 mB)
Importance of the field trial in Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 1968 (PDF, 896 kB)

NIH Publications
Entry in NIH Almanac (PDF, 1.03 mB)
Primary documents in National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science page, 2016 (Chronological Listing by Document Type)
Obituary in NIH Record, 2002 (PDF, 181 kB)
Announcement of nomination to NIH Director in NIH Record, 1975 (PDF, 19.5 mB)

Journal Publications
Obituary by Antonio Gotto in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2002 (PDF, 42 kB)
Tribute by John Elliott in Journal of the American Medical Association, 1988 (PDF, 1.89 mB)

Non-journal Publications
Mentioned in D. Lynn Loriaux’s, A Biographical History of Endocrinology, 2016 (PDF, 45 kB)
Biographical memoir by James B. Wyngaarden for National Academy of Sciences, 2005 (PDF, 1.21 mB)
Washington Post obituary, 2002 (PDF, 186 kB)
New York Times obituary, 2002
Announcement of NIH Director resignation in Washington Post, 1981 (PDF, 160 kB)


photo of Donald S. Fredrickson
Donald S. Fredrickson National Institutes of Health