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Louis Barkhouse Flexner Papers
1925-1996 (bulk 1960-1980)

UPT 50 F619

1.5 Cubic feet

Prepared by Timothy H. Horning

September 2014

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

PROVENANCE

The Louis Barkhouse Flexner papers were donated to the University Archives (UARC) by Doerte R. Smith in 2001 (accession number 2001:033). 

 

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ARRANGEMENT

The papers of Louis Barkhouse Flexner are organized into three series – General File, Correspondence and Writings – which are each arranged alphabetically. 

 

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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Louis Barkhouse Flexner was a Professor of Anatomy and Chair of the Anatomy Department at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine from 1951 to 1967, a founder of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Neurological Sciences (now called the Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences), and medical researcher noted for his work pertaining to the biochemistry of memory. 

Flexner was born on January 7, 1902 in Louisville, Kentucky to Washington Flexner and Ida Barkhouse Flexner. Louis was born into a family noted for its contributions to the medical field – his uncle Simon Flexner (1863-1946) was a Professor of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine from 1899 to 1903 and later served as Director of the Rockefeller Center for Medical Research in New York City; another uncle, Abraham Flexner (1866-1959), organized the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and wrote Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910, which was considered the definitive study of North American medical education at the time. Perhaps already following in the footsteps of his uncles, at age seven Louis won a Louisville newspaper’s writing contest on “How I Intend to Earn My Living” in which he explained his intention to one day cure epilepsy. 

After earning a B.S. from the University of Chicago in 1923, Flexner received his medical education at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he was mentored by Dr. Lewis H. Weed, Dean of the School of Medicine. After earning an M.D. in 1927, Flexner worked for two years under Dr. Leonor Michaelis, a famous biochemist who was then on the faculty of Johns Hopkins. In 1929 Flexner turned down an opportunity to spend a year in Vienna, Austria working with Sigmund Freud in order to take an internship at the University of Chicago Clinics. After eight months of clinic work, Flexner returned to the John Hopkins Anatomy Department where he would remain until 1939. 

It was at Johns Hopkins where Flexner met his wife, Josefa Barba-Gose. A native of Barcelona, Spain, she was educated at the Universities of Barcelona and Madrid and earned a doctorate in pharmacy in 1927. She had been awarded a scholarship to work as a research associate at Johns Hopkins when she and Flexner met in the early 1930s. They were married in 1938. Louis and Josefa were not only spouses but also colleagues and partners in scientific research, conducting experiments and co-authoring numerous articles together for many decades. 

Flexner was offered a position in the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution in Washington (now called the Carnegie Institution for Science) in 1941 where his research on the biochemistry of development gained widespread attention. During World War II he remained at Carnegie and simultaneously served as Technical Aide to the Committee on Aviation Medicine of the National Research Council-Committee on Medical Research, which studied the safety and effectiveness of aviators operating under the rapidly changing conditions of aerial warfare. 

In 1951 Flexner moved to Philadelphia after he accepted a position as a Professor of Anatomy and Chair of the Anatomy Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He developed the anatomy department based on three disciplines of medical research which he felt were soon to become prominent and were “appropriate” for an anatomy department: cell differentiation and development, ultrastructure and imaging, and neuroscience. Flexner felt that neuroscience especially needed to be multidisciplinary to succeed. At the time the study of the brain sciences was spread across many fields (anatomy, biology, psychiatry and psychology to name a few) and functioned relatively independent of each other. Flexner believed that collaboration amongst all neuroscientists and integration of research would benefit the field greatly. To that end he spearheaded the organization of the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Neurological Sciences in 1953. Now called the Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences, it is nationally recognized as having been a leader in the growth of neuroscience. 

Flexner was a member the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association of Anatomists, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. He was on the boards of the National Council to Combat Blindness, the National Paraplegic Society, the National Research Council, the United Cerebral Palsy Association, and the United States Public Health Service. 

Flexner “retired” in 1967 though he continued to conduct research and instruct medical students into his nineties. He died on March 29, 1996, aged 94, survived by his wife, Josefa, and his sister, Miriam Maderer. 

 

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SCOPE and CONTENT

The Louis Barkhouse Flexner papers mostly consist of offprints from scholarly journals of articles Flexner authored or co-authored. These offprints date from early in Flexner’s professional life in the 1920s through to the 1980s. The General File series contains curricula vitae for both Flexner and his wife and partner in research, Josefa, as well as handwritten drafts of talks Flexner gave at various events, a small collection of photographs, and offprints inscribed by his uncles, Abraham and Simon Flexner, who both made significant contributions to the field of medicine. Lastly, there is correspondence that is of a mixed professional and personal nature. 

 

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CONTROLLED ACCESS HEADINGS

Genre(s)

  • Educators--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.

Subject(s)

  • Biochemistry--Study and teaching.
  • Medicine--Research--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • Medicine--Study and teaching--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • Neurosciences--Study and teaching.
  • University of Pennsylvania. School of Medicine. Department of Anatomy

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INVENTORY

 

General File 

Box

Folder

Awards and Honors 1970-1992 

1

1

Biographical Memoir of L. B. Flexner by James M. Sprague 1997 

1

2

Biomedical Research Support Grant Application 1985 

1

3

Caricatures of L. B. Flexner by W. King 1935, n.d. 

1

4

Certificate: Emeritus Professor of Anatomy July 1970 

1

5

Curricula Vitae 1967-1989 

1

6

Flexner Lecture and Prize 1974, 1996 

1

7

Flexner, Abraham: Inscribed Offprints 1925-1930, 1950 

1

8

Flexner, Abraham: Memorial Booklet 1959 

1

9

Flexner, Josefa: Curriculum Vitae c. 1963 

1

10

Flexner, Simon: Inscribed Offprints 1934-1939 

1

11

Histology Class Notes 1975, 1990, n.d. 

1

12

Inscribed Offprints 1925, 1946, 1952 

1

13

Memorial for L. B. Flexner at the University of Pennsylvania June 1996 

1

14

Memos 1951-1952 

1

15

Mice Colony 1992-1996 

1

16

Obituaries 1996 

1

17

Photographs 1938-1992 

1

18

Puro Graphs n.d. 

1

19

References for Class Lectures 1961, 1966-1967 

1

20

Report on University of Pennsylvania Anatomy Department 1975-1976 

1

21

Student Comments 1987, n.d. 

1

22

Talks 1949-1957 

1

23

Talks re: Memory and Learning 1963-1973 

1

24

Weed, Lewis Hill: Memorial Booklet 1952 

1

25

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Correspondence 

Box

Folder

A-B 1939-1993 

1

26

C 1940-1991 

1

27

Children's Hospital 1966-1967 

1

28

D-E 1944-1989 

1

29

Dickerson, William C. 1954 

1

30

F 1933-1992 

1

31

G 1951-1986 

1

32

H 1940-1983 

1

33

K-M 1940-1993 

1

34

P-R 1951-1986 

1

35

Roberts, Richard 1978-1979 

1

36

S-V 1940-1992 

1

37

W-Z 1934-1985 

1

38

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Writings 

Box

Folder

Acetoxycycloheximide-Induced Transient Amnesia: Protective Effects of Adrenergic Stimulants 1972 

1

39

ADH and Related Peptides: Effect of Pre- or Posttraining Treatment on Puromycin Amnesia 1978 

1

40

Adrenalectomy and the Suppression of Memory by Puromycin 1970 

1

41

Antitryptic Titre in Pregnancy and in Hyperthyroidism 1929 

1

42

The Biochemical Basis of Long-Term Memory 1969 

1

43

Biochemical Changes Associated with Onset of Secretion in the Fetal Choroid Plexus: An Organization of Oxidation-Reduction Processes 1938 

1

44

Biochemical Changes Associated with Onset of Secretory Activity in the Metanephros of the Fetal Pig: The Cytochrome Oxidase-Cytochrome System and Oxidation-Reduction Potentials 1939 

1

45

Biochemical and Physiological Differentiation During Morphogenesis: Parts 6-9, 11-12, 14, 16, 19-23 1946-1958 

1

46

Blockade of B1- but not of B2-adrenergic Receptors Replicates Propranolol's Suppression of the Cerebral Spread of an Engram in Mice 1985 

1

47

Blockade of Peripheral Beta-Andrenergic Receptors Fails to Suppress the Cerebral Spead of an Engram in Mice 1985 

1

48

Capillary Permeability: Rate of Transcapillary Exchange of Chloride in the Guinea Pig as Determined with Radiochloride 1949 

1

49

Capillary Permeability: Rate of Transcapillary Exchange of Iron Added to Plasma as Radioactive Ferris Beta-Globulinate 1948 

1

50

Central Nervous System Effects of Posterior Pituitary Hormones, Fragments, and Their Derivatives on Drug Tolerance/Dependence and Behavior 1980 

1

51

Cerebrospinal Elasticity in the Cat and Macaque 1932 

1

52

Changes in the Chemistry and Nature of the Cerebrospinal Fluid During Fetal Life in the Pig 1938 

1

53

The Chemistry and Nature of the Cerebrospinal Fluid 1934 

1

54

Comparison in Mice of the Amnestic Effects of Cycloheximide and 6-Hydroxydopamine in a One-Trial Passive Avoidance Task 1976 

1

55

The Comparative Physiology of Placental Transfer 1942 

1

56

Conditions of Fetal Respiration in the Goat and The Utilization of Oxygen in the Uterus in the Rabbit 1934 

1

57

The Correlation of Oxygen Consumption, Function and Structure in the Developing Metanephros of the Pig 1937 

1

58

The Cyclized C-Terminal Dipeptide of Arginine Vasopressin: Metabolic Stability and Antagonism of Puromycin-Induced Amnesia 1982 

1

59

Cycloheximide and Acetoxycycloheximide: Inhibition of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Activity and Amnestic Effects 1973 

1

60

The Determination of Radioactive Iron in Biological Material with Particular Reference to Purification and Separation of Iron with Isopropyl Ether, Ashing and Electroplating Technique, and Accuracy of the Method 1948 

1

61

The Development of the Cerebral Cortex: A Cytological, Functional, and Biochemical Approach 1952 

1

62

The Development of the Meninges in Amphibia: A Study of Normal and Experimental Animals 1929 

1

63

Developmental Physiology 1946 

1

64

Dissection of Memory in Mice with Antibiotics 1968 

1

65

Distribution, Survival and Biological Effects in Mice of a Behaviorally Active, Enzymatically Stable Peptide: Pharmacokinetics of Cyclo(Leu-Gly) and Puromycin-indiced Amnesia 1978 

1

66

Dose-Response Relationships in Attenuation of Puromycin-Induced Amnesia by Neurohypophyseal Peptides 1977 

1

67

Effect of Acetoxycycloheximide and of an Acetoxycycloheximide-Puromycin Mixture on Cerebral Protein Synthesis and Memory in Mice 1965 

1

68

The Effect of Acetoxyccycloheximide on Rate of Accumulation of Cerebral Catecholamines from Circulating Tyrosine as Related to Its Effect on Memory 1975 

1

69

The Effect of the Beta-adrenergic Receptor Antagonist, Propranolol, on the Cerebral Spread of a Memory Trace in Mice 1983 

1

70

Effect of Corticotropin and Desglycinamide-Lysine Vasopressin on Suppression of Memory by Puromycin 1972 

1

71

Effect of Two Inhibitors of Dopamine B-Hydroxylase on Maturation of Memory in Mice 1976 

1

72

The Elasticity of the Dural Sac and Its Contents 1932 

1

73

Enzymatic and Functional Patterns of the Developing Mammalian Brain 1955 

1

74

The Estimation of Extracellular and Total Body Water in the Newborn Human Infant with Radioactive Sodium and Deuterium Oxide 1947 

1

75

Events Associated with the Development of Nerve and Hepatic Cells 1955 

1

76

Factors Concerned in Positional Alterations of Intracranial Pressure 1933 

1

77

The Fine Structure of Puromycin-Induced Changes in Mouse Entorhinal Cortex 1968 

1

78

Further Observations on Restoration of Memory Lost after Treatment with Puromycin 1969 

1

79

Further Observations Upon the Monro-Kellie Hypothesis 1932 

1

80

Further Studies on the Components of Lactic Dehydrogenase of Cerebral Cortex 1962 

1

81

Glycogenesis in the Liver of the Fetal Guinea Pig 1954 

1

82

Influences of Neurohypophyseal Hormones and Related Peptides on Adaptive Phenomena in the Central Nervous System 1982 

1

83

Inhibition of Protein Synthesis in Brain and Learning and Memory Following Puromycin 1962 

1

84

Inhibition by Z-Pro-D-Leu of Development of Tolerance To and Physical Dependence on Morphine in Mice 1978 

2

1

Intracerebral Saline: Effect on Memory of Trained Mice Treated with Puromycin 1968 

2

2

Lactic Dehydrogenases of the Developing Cerebral Cortex and Liver of the Mouse and Guinea Pig 1960 

2

3

Long-Term Suppression in Mice of the Development of Complementary Memory Storage Sites: Effects of Muscarinic Antagonist 1990 

2

4

Long-Term Suppression of the Cerebral Spread of a Memory: Effects of Idazoxan and Clonidine 1987 

2

5

Long-Term Suppression of the Development of Complementary Memory Storage Sites in Mice: Functional Interdependence of Acetylcholine and Dopamine 1994 

2

6

Loss of Memory in Mice as Related to Regional Inhibition of Cerebral Protein Synthesis 1965 

2

7

Loss of Memory as Related to Inhibition of Cerebral Protein Synthesis 1965 

2

8

Loss of Recent Memory in Mice as Related to Regional Inhibition of Cerebral Protein Synthesis 1964 

2

9

Maternal Plasma as a Source of Iron for the Fetal Guinea Pig 1950 

2

10

Measurement of Placental Permeability with Radioactive Sodium 1939 

2

11

A Mechanism of Secretion in the Chorioid Plexus: The Conversion of Oxidation-Reduction Energy into Work 1938 

2

12

Memory and Cerebral Protein Synthesis in Mice as Affected by Graded Amounts of Puromycin 1965 

2

13

Memory in Mice as Affected by Intracerebral Puromycin 1963 

2

14

Memory in Mice Analyzed with Antibiotics 1967 

2

15

Memory in Mice Dissected with Antibiotics 1967 

2

16

A Model for the Development of Retina-Cortex Connections 1966 

2

17

Neurohypophyseal Hormones, Analogs and Fragments: Their Effect on Puromycin-Induced Amnesia 1975 

2

18

Note on Cerebrospinal Elasticity in a Chimpanzee 1933 

2

19

A Note on the Rate of Circulation of Cerebrospinal Fluid 1933 

2

20

On the Rate of Reaction Between Enzyme and Substrate 1928 

2

21

The Output of the Fetal Heart in the Goat 1934 

2

22

Oxidation-Reduction Potentials at Carbon and Tungsten Electrodes 1930 

2

23

Oxidation-Reduction Systems of Biological Significance: Parts One and Three 1928-1929 

2

24

The Oxygen Consumption, Cytochrome and Cytochrome Oxidase Activity and Histological Structure of the Developing Cerebral Cortex of the Fetal Pig 1941 

2

25

The Permeability of the Human Placenta to Sodium in Normal and Abnormal Pregnancies and the Supply of Sodium to the Human Fetus as Determined with Radioactive Sodium 1948 

2

26

Permeability of the Human Placenta to Water and the Supply of Water to the Human Fetus as Determined with Deuterium Oxide 1948 

2

27

Permeability of the Placenta of the Guinea Pig to Inorganic Phosphate and its Relation to Fetal Growth 1946 

2

28

Pituitary Peptides and the Suppression of Memory by Puromycin 1971 

2

29

Puromycin: Action on Neuronal Mitochondria 1968 

2

30

Puromycin: Effect on Memory of Mice When Injected with Various Cations 1969 

2

31

Puromycin's Suppression of Memory in Mice as Affected by Caffeine 1974 

2

32

Rate of Formation of Cerebrospinal Fluid in Etherized Cats, The 1932 

2

33

The Rate of Renewal in Woman of the Water and Sodium of the Amniotic Fluid as Determined by Tracer Techniques 1948 

2

34

The Rate of Transcapillary Exchange of Sodium in Normal and Shocked Dogs 1944 

2

35

The Reduction of Osmic Acid as an Indicator of Adrenal Cortical Activity in the Rat 1939 

2

36

The Relations of the Intracranial Pressures 1933 

2

37

Restoration of Expression of Memory Lost After Treatment with Puromycin 1967 

2

38

The Role of Ventricular Dilation in the Spread of Infections from the Subarach-Noid Space into the Ventricles 1933 

2

39

Some Evidence for the Involvement of Adrenergic Sites in the Memory Trace 1970 

2

40

Some Problems of the Origin, Circulation and Absorption of the Cerebrospinal Fluid 1933 

2

41

Stages of Memory in Mice Treated with Acetoxycycloheximide Before or Immediately After Learning 1966 

2

42

Studies on Capillary Permeability with Tracer Substances 1948 

2

43

Studies on Memory: The Cerebral Spread of An Engram in Mice as Affected by Inhibitors of Dopamine B-Hydroxylase 1982 

2

44

Studies on Memory: Distribution of Peptidyl-Puromycin in Subcellular Fractions of Mouse Brain 1971 

2

45

Studies on Memory: Evidence for a Widespread Memory Trace in the Neocortex After the Suppression of Recent Memory by Puromycin 1969 

2

46

Studies on Memory: Inhibitors of Protein Synthesis Also Inhibit Catecholamine Synthesis 1975 

2

47

Studies on Memory: The Long Survival of Peptidyl-Puromycin in Mouse Brain 1968 

2

48

Studies on Memory: The Reevaluation in Mice of the Effects of Inhibitors on the Rate of Synthesis of Cerebral Proteins as Related to Amnesia 1979 

2

49

Studies on Memory: Spontaneous Return of Memory in 6-Hydroxydopamine-Treated Mice and its Relation to Cycloheximide-Induced Transient Amnesia 1977 

2

50

Studies on Rates of Exchange of Substances Between the Blood and Extravascular Fluid: The Exchange of Sodium in the Guinea Pig 1944 

2

51

Studies on Rates of Exchange of Substances Between the Blood and Extravascular Fluid: The Exchange of Water in the Guinea Pig 1942 

2

52

A Study of the Development of the Cerebral Cortex of the Foetal Guinea-Pig by Means of the Ultra-Violet Miscroscope 1956 

2

53

Thermodynamic Analysis of Ultrafiltration: The Ultrafiltration of Sucrose and Colloidal Solutions 1937 

2

54

Time-Dependency of Neurohypophyseal Peptide Attenuation of Puromycin Amnesia in Mice 1980 

2

55

Transfer of Radioactive Sodium Across the Placenta of the Cat 1940 

2

56

Transfer of Radioactive Sodium Across the Placenta of the Goat 1941 

2

57

Transfer of Radioactive Sodium Across the Placenta of the Guinea Pig 1941 

2

58

Transfer of Radioactive Sodium Across the Placenta of the Rabbit 1941 

2

59

Transfer of Radioactive Sodium Across the Placenta of the Sow 1941 

2

60

Transfer of Radioactive Sodium Across the Placenta of the White Rat 1941 

2

61

The Transfer of Sodium Across the Human Placenta 1943 

2

62

The Transfer of Water and Sodium to the Amniotic Fluid of the Guinea Pig 1942 

2

63

Visual Discrimination Learning and Interhemispheric Transfer in the Cat, as Affected by 6-hydroxydopamine n.d. 

2

64

The Water of the Cerebrospinal Fluid 1933 

2

65

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