Annual Wesley Spink Memorial Lecture

Wesley W. Spink, M.D., received his undergraduate education at Carleton College and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1932. After post-graduate training at Harvard, he returned to Minnesota August 1, 1937, as a faculty member in the Department of Medicine at the University where he initiated clinical trials with sulfonamides for serious infectious diseases. Dr. Spink was one of the first physicians in Minnesota to use the new antimicrobial agent, penicillin. The clinical response of patients with serious infections was dramatic and the University of Minnesota became a center for Infectious Disease research.

At the time, brucellosis was a serious health problem in Minnesota and Dr. Spink characterized clinical aspects, pathogenesis, and treatment of this disease. A state law mandating pasteurization of milk was a direct result of his research and leadership.

Dr. Spink and his trainees studied several other infectious agents including streptococci and staphylococci. Their studies always focused on host defenses as well as treatment and were motivated by potential clinical applicability. Endotoxemia associated with experimental brucellosis led to research on gram-negative sepsis and septic shock.

Dr. Spink received many honors during his career including election to the Presidency of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and American College of Physicians, the Bristol Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the National Library of Medicine Distinguished Scholar Award. He was a consultant to the World Health Organization from 1950-73 and was a University of Minnesota Regents' Professor of Medicine since 1967. He retired in 1973. From 1973 to 1978, he wrote a 577-page text entitled Infectious Diseases Prevention and Treatment in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Dr. Spink established the named lectureship with the University administration and the Medical School. The first lecture was presented in 1971. He died May 14, 1988.

Portrait of Wesley W. Spink

Wesley W. Spink, MD

Upcoming Lecture

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Portrait of Carol A Kauffman, MD
Carol Kauffman, MD
Professor of Internal Medicine
University of Michigan Medical School
Division of Infectious Diseases
Department of Internal Medicine
Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System
University of Michigan Medical School

Past Speakers

Past Speakers

2017 | John Perfect
Professor of Medicine, Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University  School of Medicine

2016 | Paul Quie
Regents Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Manitoba

2015 | Allan Ronald
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba

2014 | Julie Gerberding 
President, Merck Vaccines, Merck & Co, Inc. Associate Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of California,  San Francisco

2013 | Ashley Haase
Regents’ Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota Medical School

2012 | Jan Verhoef
Professor of Clinical Microbiology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

2011 | Hans Rosling
Professor of International Health; Director, Gapminder Foundation Karolinska Institute, Sweden

2010 | Jonathan Ravdin
Dean and Executive Vice President, Medial College of Wisconsin

2009 | Michael Osterholm
University of Minnesota School of Public Health Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

2008 | Christopher Murray
University of Washington School of Medicine, Professor of Global Health & Director, Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation

2007 | Thomas Quinn
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Founding Director, John Hopkins Center for Global Health

2006 | King K. Holmes
University of Washington, School of Medicine; Chair, Department of Global Health

2005 | Herbert Dupont
Director, Center for Infectious Diseases and Professor of Epidemiology, Baylor College of Medicine

2004 | Merle Sando
Professor of Medicine, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Co-Chair

2003 | Gary Schoolnik
Health Advisor to the United Nations, High Commissioner for Refugees, Stanford University, School of Medicine

2002 | Richard Guerrant
Founding Director, Center for Global Health, University of Virginia School of Medicine\

2001 | Lawrence Corey
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

2000 | Gerald Keusch
Associate Provost for Global Health, Boston University Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health

1999 | Keith McAdam
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Director, Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere