Eleanor Humphreys Visiting Surgical Pathologist

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The Eleanor Humphreys Visiting Surgical Pathologist

The aim of the Eleanor Humphreys Visiting Surgical Pathologist is to bring to the University of Chicago distinguished surgical pathologists with the goal of enhancing the education of students, housestaff, and faculty in the latest concepts and techniques of surgical pathology. The Visiting Surgical Pathologist brings distinction, not only to the recipient, but also to the University. 

Inquiries and contributions to the Eleanor Humphreys Visiting Surgical Pathologist can be directed to: 

The University of Chicago · Department of Pathology 
5841 South Maryland Avenue · MC 6101 
Chicago, Illinois 60637 
(773) 702-6254  · Fax (773) 834-7644


About Eleanor Humphreys

Eleanor M. Humphreys was born in Fairhaven, Vermont, grew up with four brothers, and attended Smith College, where she thrived on the classics and chemistry, and was known as the "Big Cheese" because of her friendly cheese and cracker parties. After college, she worked as a physiological chemist and bacteriologist in Rochester, New York and the State Laboratories of New York. 

In 1923, she came to the University of Chicago to work with H. Gideon Wells, Chairman of Pathology. She was an assistant in the Department through 1929. She went to medical school here and at Rush Medical College and graduated with an MD in 1931. 

She stayed on in Pathology at this University throughout most of her career, becoming associate professor in 1942, and full professor in 1946. 

In 1946, Dr. Humphreys was asked to direct the University of Chicago's Surgical Pathology Laboratory, becoming the first pathologist at this institution to do so. She continued in that role until her retirement in 1958. She single-handedly diagnosed all the surgicals, taught surgical pathology to medical students and residents, worked with many clinicians concerning their research projects, and published over forty papers. She was the major student advisor-confessor for many classes of medical students who came to her during her long professional hours for advice, sometimes medical, sometimes personal. 

Her contribution to both the scientific and academic endeavors at the University, and especially her remarkable rapport with the students and residents, add up to an immense gift to society as a whole and to this institution in particular.