Charles T. Ambrose, M.D.
A.B. (Chem), Indiana University, 1951
M.D., Johns Hopkins Medical School, 1955
NEMC, Boston, resident in infectious diseases, 1955-59
Harvard Medical School, Dept. of Bacteriology & Immunology, 1959-1973
INSERM, Paris, 1972-3 … exchange prof. from Harvard to College de France
Univ. Kentucky, College of Medicine, Dept. of Microbiology, etc., 1973 - present
UK Research Statement: 1 06 2013 for C.T. Ambrose, M.D.
My earlier researches at HMS and at INSERM, Paris are summarized below (A-D) with relevant publications. All publications listed below are single-authored.
A. My immunological studies from 1959 through 1975 employed an organ culture system involving lymph nodes & spleen fragments from rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs in which the secondary antibody could be elicited in vitro and examined over the course of a month or more. My early studies showed than this response was readily inhibited by chloramphenicol (1) & salicylic acid (2), both at non-toxic, pharmacological levels commonly encountered during clinical therapy. 1) J. Exp. Med. 1963; 117: 1035-51. 2) J. Exp. Med. 1966; 124: 461-82.
B. In the early 1960s completely synthetic media had not yet been devised and most cell cultures depended on the medium composed of a balanced salt solution, placental cord serum, & embryo extract. Culture results sometimes varied with different lots of serum & embryo extract. This problem was resolved in my organ culture system with the discovery that the serum could be replaced by dialyzable components of serum, which proved to be physiological levels of corticosteroids & insulin. 3) J. Exp. Med., 1964; 119: 1017-49.
C. One unexpected effect observed during dose response experiments was the enhancement of the 2º Ab response in vitro when very low levels of various inhibitor drugs were added to the medium -- e.g., actinomycin D (4, 5). I postulated an antibody inhibitory material, whose synthesis was itself suppressed by low levels of the drug, which at higher levels caused the expected inhibition of Ab production. An inhibitory factor was isolated. Later investigators characterized the phenomenon as due to factors released by suppressor cells. 4) J. Exp. Med. 1969; 130: 1003-29. 5) Annale d’Immunologie 1975; 126:3-13.
D. I studied the binding of actinomycin D to rabbit thymus chromatin & its DNA in a sub-cellular system as measured by optical rotary dispersion (6). Cortisol (but not chemically related corticosteroids) enhanced AD’s binding to chromatin but not to DNA. I postulated that physiologically active corticosteroids mediate their permissive effect in cells by unmasking DNA sites in chromatin for attachment of natural signals or inducers. 6) “The Essential Role of Corticosteroid …” in Hormones & the Immune Response, Ciba Foundation Study Group No. 36, London : J. & A. Churchill, 1970, pp. 100-125.
E. Since coming to the College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY in 1973, I focused on teaching pathogenic microbiology to medical students and offered elective courses in the history of medicine & of microbiology, medical ethics, and humanistic medical literature. Below are some of my recent publications, listed according to four general subject. Again, all are single authored.
-- Priority of Discovery, Plagiarism
-- “Immunology’s First Priority Dispute. An Account of the 17th-century Rudbeck-Bartholin
Feud,” Cellular Immunology 2006; 242: 1-8
-- “The Priority dispute over the function of the lymphatic system and Glisson’s ghost (the
18th-century Hunter-Monro Feud),” Cellular Immunology 2007; 245: 7-15.
-- “Rudbeck’s Complaint – A 17th-century Latin Letter Relating to Basic Immunology,”
Scandinavian J. Immunology 2007; 66: 486-493.
-- “Darwin’s Historical Sketch – an American Predecessor: C.S Rafinesque,” Archives of
Natural History Fall 2010; 37: 191-202.
-- “Joseph Hersey Pratt (1872-1956): an early proponent of cognitive-behavioural therapy in
America,” J. Med. Biography 2013 … in press.
-- “Plagiarism of Ideas: Benjamin Rush & Charles Caldwell, The Pharos 2013 … in press.
-- Sir Wm. Osler, 1849-1919
-- “Osler and the Infected Letter. (A History of the Disinfection of Mail),” Emerging
Infectious Diseases 1005; 11: 689-93.
-- “The Osler Slide. A Demonstration of Phagocytosis from 1876 and other Reports of
Phagocytosis before Metchnikoff’s 1880 Paper,” Cellular Immunology 2006; 240: 1-4.
-- “Osler and the Black Corpuscles: profiles of three early students of phagocytosis,” J. Med.
Biography 2007; 15 (Suppl. 1): 39-45.
-- “Joseph Hersey Pratt, M.D. – “The Man Who Would Be Osler” in The Persisting Osler
IV, 2011, pp. 43-51.
-- “Sir William Osler and the Muniments of the Alsmhouse at Ewelme,” Bodleian Library
Record 2011; --: 207-213.
-- “Osler Came to Boston,” The Pharos Summer 2011: 18-23.
-- Transylvania University, Dept. of Medicine, 1799-1859
-- “The Secret Kappa Lambda Society of Hippocrates (Origin of the AMA’s Principles of
Medical Ethics),” Yale J. Biol. & Med. 2005; 78: 45-56.
-- “The Curious Death of Constantine Samuel Rafineque (1783-1840): the case for the
Maidenhair Fern,” J. Med. Biography 2010: 18: 165-173.
-- “Transylvania Medical Alumni Who Served in the Union and Confederate Armies,” Ohio
Valley History 2011; 2(2): 56-67.
-- Misc. Historical Medical Figures
-- “Felix Platter, a 16th-century Medical Student,” The Pharos 2004; 67: 8-13.
-- “Robley Dunglison, 1798-1869. The preeminent medical author of mid-19th-century
America,” The Pharos 2006; 69: 1-11.
-- “Medicus Petrus Hispanus (Peter of Spain): a XIII century Pope and Author of a Medieval
Sex Guide,” J. Med. Biography 2013 … in press.
F. Recently, I have published three works on neuroangiogenesis, as it may relate to concert
pianists vs. persons with senile dementias and Alzheimer’s disease.
-- “The Widening Gyrus,” American Scientist July-Aug. 2010; 98: 270-274.
-- “Neuroangiogenesis: a Vascular Basis for Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Decline
during Aging,” J. Alzheimer’s Disease 2012; 32: 773-788.
-- “Alzheimer’s Disease: the Great Morbidity of the 21st Century,” American Scientist 2013;