Dr. Florence Rena Sabin April 25, 1925 - October 3, 1953
early years... Florence Rena Sabin's father was raised in a family of medical professionals. After persuing what he thought was his dream he gave up and moved to Central City right befor the Civil War and the beginning of Gold minning. Her mother was from the south and also decided to move to Colorado before the war and worked as a teacher in Blackhawk. Life was an average small town life, with no plumbing, electricity, and no gas the family decided to move to Denver. Florence and her sister recall the living situation to be crude and would fear watching Indians march in single file lines down the street. Her mother died at 7 years old. Her father started traveling more and the girls were in and out of boarding schools until finally they settled in 1885 to an exceptional boarding school that prepared her well for Smith College. She graduated in 1893 with a Bacherlor of Science. Her peers are quoted saying she never gave any inkling to the amount of greatness she would accomplish. The field in which finally sparked and created a humungous amount of interest was Zoology! Leading to her interest in biological science. While in school, The Women Foundation Commitee was brewing together to raise money for funding when the oppurtunity was learned that a new school, John Hopkins Medical School was in need of it. The oppurtunity to start the inclusion of women into science medical schools was the objective. Three well-respected women raised over a half million dollars and by the time Florence was ready for graduation, the anticipation that she may score an intership with the school was waiting. Due to lack of funds to attend, she accepted a teaching position back home, Denver, Co, at Wolfe Hall to teach mathematics...
the journey begins... Two years later...she left and became assistant in the Biology department at Smith and in the summer of 1896 she worked in the Marine Biology Laboritory in Woods Hole. Finally in fall of 1896 she was accepted as the first women student at the John Hopkins Medical School. Florence was finally accepted based on her hard work, lack of patience for exceptions due to her gender, and amzing work ethnic. She was quickly drawn to Professor Mall who led her on the path to her life work and teaching practice theaory which was Mall's belief that "Original Discovery" was the absolute best practice when guiding and directing students love for research and inquiry. She contributed to Keibal and Mall's book titled The Manual of Human Embryology. After Dr. Mall's death she dove heavily into research on the structure and function of the medulla and mid brain, which led to the use of her models in medical schools for years. Florence Rena Sabin published a book shortly after titled - Atlas of the Medulla and Midbrain.
John Hopkins Medical School Intern Opp... After graduation she was offerend an internship with the school but shortly into the program she realized that her love for researching and teaching was far greater than praciticng medicine. There were no other jobs at the time but due to her work in supporting women progression in the medical field, the ladies who initially raised the money to support women in medical schools supported her efforts and made it possible for her to have a position in John Hopkins. She moved from many positions climbing many ladders and eventually made another first...first woman to obtain full professorship in the school. After her success here she decided to begin a life journey of research on the lymphatic system that led to living cell reserach. In 1924 she received a grant from the National Tuberclorsis Association to research cellular defenses/against the body infections. Shortly after she left and joined, again, a first, as a full member of the Scientific Staff at the Rockerfeller Institute.
2nd and 3rd careers... For many years she worked as a full time investigator and later, in 1938 she moved home to Colorado for her sister and worked for the reform of Public Health Laws of Colorado... While her - her presence caused a stir and started many projects with the Medical School of University of Denver. Between 1945-47 she served as second and third vice president for Children's Hospital.
1944... She was appointed to Govenor John Vivian's Post-War Planning Commitee and became a chairman on a subcommitee which soon was known as the "Sabin Commitee."
a first of many... November 1951 Clorence celebrated her 80th birthday and in December the Medical School of University of Denver officially dedicated its Florence Rena Sabin Building for Reserach of Cellular Biology.
the final years... Florence's efforts were soon haulted when her sister Mary's health declined. Family holding a high regard to her - she decided it time to settle down...she soon died in 1953 form a heart attack while watching the World Series game.
final words... As to her character - Florence requested that when here sister no longer live that her estate be turned over to the Medical School of the University of Denver. Following her death, the Denver Post is quoted stating she was the "First Lady of American Science." The Rocky Mountain News quoted Mayor Newton, "She was learned, she was wise, she was humble. She loved the world and every living creature in it."
Sabin Elementary and the Pioneers of Progress... In 1958 Sabin Elementary school was opened and named in honor of Florence and her sister Mary.
A bronze bas-relief has been placed in the Denver General Hospital and she appears, among seventeen women, in a wooden panel, "Pioneers of Progress," carved by John Rood.