Virgil P. Sydenstricker (1889–1964) A Giant in American Medicine
(abstracted from a short biography by Elaine B. Feldman © 2001 The American Society for Nutritional Science 022-3166/01 $3.00 © 2001 American
Society for Nutritional Sciences. J. Nutr. 131: 2231–2234, 2001
- Dr. Sydenstricker was the epitome of a physician-scientist, a nutrition specialist,
clinical investigator, and medical academician. He was outstanding in research, education
and service for more than 30 years, … a pioneer in the area of nutritional deficiency
diseases… whose work extended nationally and in Europe, both as a civilian and in
- B.A. and M.A. Washington and Lee University (1910 , 1911)
- M.D. Johns Hopkins (1915) As a medical student he co-authored studies with Nobel Prize
winner, G. H. Whipple.
- Medicine Residency
- Johns Hopkins University
- Medical Division, University of Georgia, Augusta, GA 1919-20
- Chair Department of Medicine Medical Collage of Georgia 1922-57
- (Mandatory retirement, 1957)
- Continued as Prof Emeritus & Chief of Medicine at AVAH, until his death
- Active and Productive Researcher; Just a few examples indicated below):
- As an intern he developed a system of blood transfusions with stored, citrated blood,
that enabled blood to be “banked”; forming the basis for modem day blood banking and
- As a faculty member, he demonstrated the efficacy of niacin in the prevention and
cure of pellagra AND he described the clinical manifestations of riboflavin and other
vitamin deficiencies; and how replacements cured them.
- He was also involved in identifying the pathophysiology of refeeding to semi-starved
individuals, during WWII, leading to current concepts of the requirement for essential
amino acids. in health and disease.
- Dr. Sydenstricker gave many national and international honorary lectures, and he received,
numerous awards, including the prestigious: Goldberger Award in Clinical Nutrition,
from the American Medical Association
- He was an Outstanding Educator, with numerous accolades from students and trainees
over his illustrious career at the Medical College of Georgia.
- To quote Mrs. Feldman: “ He spent his life, in a continuing effort, to bring knowledge
and ability - to the future physicians of Georgia. He was a role model, who provided
compassionate and excellent care to his patients”
- In 1979, the then new wing of the MCG Hospital was named for him.