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Dr. Marshall Brucer Nuclear Medicine Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-2839

This collection contains the papers of Dr. Marshall Brucer from his work at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (now called Oak Ridge Associated Universities). There are publications, correspondence, and audiovisual material concerning radiation and nuclear medicine.

Series III: Brachytherapy contains a folder of brachytherapy models. This folder has loose metal objects and wires, so please be careful when handling.

Dates

  • 1937-1993

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

3.25 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection contains the papers of Dr. Marshall Brucer from his work at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (now called Oak Ridge Associated Universities). There are publications, correspondence, and audiovisual material concerning radiation and nuclear medicine.

Biographical/Historical Note

The following is from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) at www.orau.org:

The first chairman of the Medical Division, Dr. Marshall Brucer joined the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS), now Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), in 1948. At the time, ORINS had been tasked by the Atomic Energy Commission with operating a medical research center to investigate the use of radioactive materials in diagnosing and treating diseases. Brucer once described the division's beginning: About 10 to 15 persons highly trained in some other branch of science tried to learn how to use radioisotopes and had a hell of a lot of fun learning.

Under Brucer's strong leadership, the Medical Division and its programs received international attention and acclaim as they fulfilled this task. Nearly 70 different radioactive isotopes were investigated for diagnostic and therapeutic uses, and numerous advances were made in the design and application of mechanical and electronic devices to aid in the handling, administration, detection, and evaluation of radioactive substances.

Outstanding developments by the division were also made in the fields of brachytherapy (close-up treatment) and teletherapy (treatment from a distance). Radiation devices used ranged from a pot of lead with a hole in it, as Brucer referred to a simple teletherapy unit, to a complex rotational device capable of focusing a beam of radiation on diseased tissue while traveling in complicated, three-dimensional patterns over the patient to lessen the damaging effect of the beam on the intervening healthy tissue.

Another important phase of the division's activities developed during Brucer's tenure included the establishment of training programs. These provided numerous physicians and scientists with training in the clinical uses of isotopes and associated instrumentation.

A native of Chicago, Brucer earned his bachelor of science and doctor of medicine degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. He interned at the Mallory Institute of Pathology in Boston before joining the Army in 1942. Brucer served as surgeon of the Airborne Command at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. He also was a member of the Airborne Test Board, which included jump-testing much of the equipment used by this arm of the service. Following his time with the Army, he joined the medical staff of Bruns General Hospital in Santa Fe, N. M. He then joined the staff of the University of Texas Medical School in 1946, where he worked until coming to ORINS in 1948.

For health reasons, Brucer resigned as division chairman in 1962. He retired to Tucson, Ariz., where he remained active by writing articles and keeping up with correspondence to his colleagues worldwide. He died in February.

Arrangement

Collection consists of four series in two boxes:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Correspondence, 1960s-1970s
  2. Series II: Publications, 1946-1992
  3. Series III: Brachytherapy, 1950s, undated
  4. Series IV: Other Materials, 1958-1992, undated

Acquisition Note

Collection is property of the UT Special Collections Library.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480