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H MS c404

Kasper, Dennis L. Papers, 1971-2013: Finding Aid

Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

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Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

© President and Fellows of Harvard College


The Dennis L. Kasper Papers were processed as part of the Center's Maximizing Microbiology project, with funding from a Hidden Collections grant from the Harvard University Library.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: H MS c404
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Kasper, Dennis L.
Title: Dennis L. Kasper papers,
Date(s): 1971-2013.
Quantity: 36.25 cubic feet (36 records center cartons and 1 flat over-size box)
Quantity: 7.07 gigabytes* (1 DVD, 3 compact disks, and 33 3.5 inch floppy disks)
Language of materials: Papers are predominantly in English.Some papers are in German,Chinese,Japanese,Polish,Arabic, and Spanish.
Abstract: The Dennis L. Kasper papers, 1971-2013, are the product of Kasper's professional, research, and publishing activities throughout his career. The papers are arranged in six series: I. Correspondence files, 1976-2012, undated; II. Research records, 1971-2012, undated; III. Professional activities records, 1977-2013, undated; IV. Administrative records, 1973-2010, undated; V. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine records, 1991-2011; and VI. Writings and Publications files, 1992-2004.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

  • Accession number 2013-085.Gift of Dennis L. Kasper. 2013.
  • Processing Information:

    Processed by Elizabeth Coup, 2016 May.
    Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were removed from three ring binders and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals. Processing staff discarded duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine. All electronic media (as found in Series II and III) were imaged using Access Data's FTK and a Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device. Records were then transferred to secure storage. Files that could be opened were sampled for content, however, researchers should be aware that not every file in the collection could be opened and assessed. Files for which specific software was needed, but not available to staff at the time of processing, were not reviewed. Regardless of copy status, all original media have been retained.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    Access requires advance notice. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I-V. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I-VI. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.
    Access to electronic records in this collection (as found in Series II and III) is also subject to the above restrictions. Additionally, access is premised on the availability of a computer station, requisite software, and/or the ability of Public Services staff to review and/or print out records of interest in advance of an on-site visit.
    The Papers are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to contact Public Services for more information concerning retrieval of material.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to Public Services . Researchers who obtain permission to publish from Public Services are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

    Preferred Citation:

    Dennis L. Kasper papers, 1971-2013. H MS c404. Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

    Related Papers in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine

    Biographical Notes

    Dennis L. Kasper (1943-) is the William Ellery Channing Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical and a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Kasper is known for his research in chemistry, immunochemistry, and the genetics of bacteria and their role in virulence. This research has focused on topics related to the biology of bacterial polysaccharides including immunology, virulence, structure, and use as vaccines and immunomodulators.
    Dennis L. Kasper was born on February 23, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1963, majoring in Zoology. Kasper completed his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, 1967, and later received an honorary Master's of Arts from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1986. While at the College of Medicine, Kasper acted as a United States Public Health Service Student Research Fellow in the Department of Physiology. After graduation, Kasper served as a Research Medical Officer at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (1969-1972). He began his time at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, in 1973, as an Albee Fellow (1973-1985) and Instructor (1973-1974). In 1975, Kasper was hired as an Assistant Physician, Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. He became an Associate in Medicine, Peter Brent Brigham Division of Brigham and Women's Hospital in 1977. Kasper acted as an Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School from 1979-1985, at which point he was promoted to Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. During this time, he became a Physician and the Director, Division of Infections, Beth Israel Hospital in 1981. Kasper acted as the Associate Director the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital from 1982-1988, when he became the Co-Director, and then the Director (1996-2012). His academic career included a post as the Edward Kass Professor of Medicine (1988) and then as the William Ellery Channing Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Harvard Medical School, positions Kasper has held since 1989. He additionally acted as the Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and as the Executive Dean for Academic Programs at Harvard Medical School (1997-2003). He was the Scientific Director at the New England Center of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Harvard Medical School (2003-2014).
    Much of Kasper's research is related to the interactions of microbes, both commensals and pathogens, with the immune systems. His laboratory research has focused on bacterial carbohydrates. In studies integrating structural carbohydrate chemistry, microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, and genetics, Kasper and his laboratory staff studied the carbohydrates of group B streptococcus, the foremost cause of serious neonatal bacterial infections, and Bacteroides fragilis, an important intestinal commensal. His research also encompasses the interactions of the microbiota with the mucosal and systemic immune systems. His laboratory work on commensals led to identification of other aspects of the microbiome's interactions with the immune system. Another area of Kasper's work deals with Francisella tularensis, which is considered a potential agent of bioterrorism.
    Kasper received multiple awards for his work as a researcher and professor, and was involved with professional organizations and scientific research corporations. He received the Research Achievement Award, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (1972) and the Squibb award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 1985. He served on multiple panels and committees of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity, as was the Editor of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association of Medicine.
    Kasper is married to Marie Scurti, a Harvard Medical School staff member.

    Series and Subseries in the Collection

    Scope and Content

    The Dennis L. Kasper papers, 1971-2013, are the product of Kasper's professional, research, and publishing activities throughout his career. The papers are arranged in six series: I. Correspondence files, 1976-2012, undated; II. Research records, 1971-2012, undated; III. Professional activities records, 1977-2013, undated; IV. Administrative records, 1973-2010, undated; V. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine records, 1991-2011; and VI. Writings and publications files, 1992-2004.
    Correspondence files (Series I) includes letters and requests relating to faculty and staff at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital, both in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as peers, fellow scientists, and individuals from other institutions and professional activities. Research records (Series II) contains documents relating to Kasper's scientific research efforts, including data, correspondence, reports, and slides relating to research done both at the Channing Laboratory at Brigham & Women's Hospital and as collaborations with peers at outside institutions. Records additionally relate to grants managed by Kasper and patent applications based on Kasper's research. Research topics include Group B and Group A streptococcal infections and their prevention, immunochemistry, and effects on pregnant women, infants, and neonates; Bacteroides fragilis and other bacteria, as well as bacterial antigens, antibodies, and streptococcal vaccines; additives to reduce toxic shock; immunomodulating polymers, among others. Professional activities records (Series III) relate to Kasper's work with a variety of professional organizations and corporations, and include correspondence, reports, and presentation notes. Administrative records (Series IV) consists of files relating to the administration of Brigham & Women's Hospital, including but not limited to the Channing Laboratory, but also from Kasper's time as a doctor and faculty member at the hospital; as well as the administration of Harvard Medical School, including papers relating to his role of Executive Dean, Academic Programs, or in the role of the William Ellery Channing Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. These records include correspondence memoranda, and meeting minutes relating to funding, personnel, space allocations, teaching responsibilities, and committee selections, among other topics. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine records (Series V) contains papers relating to Kasper's time as the Editor of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, an educational text, through its twelfth to sixteenth editions, including correspondence, drafts of chapters, and contracts. Writing and publications files (Series VI) include materials relating to Kasper's writing and publishing career, including drafts of papers, lectures, and book chapters, and related research materials and reprints, correspondence, and data. Topics of papers include peritonitis, Type III Group B Streptococcus vaccines, the structure and immunochemistry of an oligosaccharide repeating unit of the capsular polysaccharide of Type III Group B Streptococcus, bacterial vaccines, and others.
    Papers are predominantly in English. Some papers are in German, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Arabic, and Spanish.

    Container List

    Additional Index Terms

    Bacteroides
    Immune response—Regulation
    Immunochemistry.
    Immunology.
    Microbiology
    Oligosaccharides.
    Streptococcus agalactiae
    Toxic shock syndrome
    Vaccines – Biotechnology
    Vaccines – Chemistry
    Bacterial Vaccines
    Bacteroides
    Immunochemistry
    Immunomodulation
    Microbiology
    Oligosaccharides
    Shock, Septic
    Streptococcus agalactiae
    Streptococcal Vaccines
    Color photographs
    Color slides
    Correspondence
    Data
    Microbiologists
    Kasper, Dennis L.
    Brigham and Women's Hospital. Department of Medicine
    Channing Laboratory
    Harvard Medical School

    med00238