RAMMELKAMP, CHARLES HENRY, JR. (24 May 1911-5 Dec. 1981), scientist and teaching physician who discovered that streptococcus bacteria causes rheumatic fever, was born in Jacksonville, Ill. to Charles Henry and Jeanette Capps Rammelkamp. He graduated from Illinois College with an A.B. (1933) and from the University of Chicago with an M.D. (1937). He was an assistant in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis (1939); research fellow in medicine at Harvard University (1939-40); and instructor of medicine at Boston University (1940-46). During WORLD WAR II he was a member of the Army's commission on acute respiratory diseases.

In 1946, Rammelkamp became assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine at Western Reserve University Medical School (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY). He was associate professor of preventive medicine (1947-60); professor of medicine (1950-60); and professor of preventive medicine (1960-80). In 1950 he became research director at City Hospital (see CUYAHOGA COUNTY HOSPITAL SYSTEM), and was director of medicine from 1957-80. At his retirement he was named professor emeritus. In 1948, Rammelkamp became a member of the Army's streptococcal-disease commission and field director of its laboratory in Cheyenne, Wyo. There he and his research team studied men with sore throats and discovered that streptococcal bacterium throat infection can lead to rheumatic fever; therefore, adequate penicillin at the time of strep throat prevents rheumatic fever. In 1952, Rammelkamp and Dr. John Dingle identified the specific strain of streptococcus bacteria that causes the kidney disease acute nephritis. In 1954, Rammelkamp was awarded the Lasker Award for his discoveries.

Rammelkamp married Helen Chisholm and had 3 children: Charles H., III, Colin C., and Anne R. (Davies). He died in Cleveland.

Article Categories