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Prescription for ChangeThe Looming Crisis in Drug Development$
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Michael Kinch

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630625

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630625.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 30 May 2020

Ivory Tower of Power

Ivory Tower of Power

(p.98) Chapter Five Ivory Tower of Power
Prescription for Change

Michael Kinch

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter relates a brief history of the modern research university. Although centers of academic learning have long existed, the role of these institutions in discovering new ideas was the brainchild of a Prussian aristocrat and the idea quickly gained traction in the United States under Abraham Lincoln and a shrewd Quaker grocer by the name of Johns Hopkins. The latter's eponymous university played a key role in understanding the most devastating public health crisis of the 20th century, Spanish flu. The origins of the pandemic and its impact, which ranged from hastening the end of the Great War through enhancing scientific understanding of disease, are discussed. The connections between the Spanish flu and the discovery of the polio vaccine are outlined as is the impact of NIH during the latter half of the century. The chapter concludes by conveying the discoveries, first of cholesterol itself and later of a means to lower cholesterol with a revolutionary new class of drugs known as statins. The development of these new medicines had implications not just for health of patients but for the companies developing these drugs as well.

Keywords:   Research university, Spanish influenza, Cholesterol, Statins

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