The influenza of 1918 struck that fall. George and his family (his wife had a baby girl on October 6, 1918) escaped without falling ill. His maid, however, did come down with the influenza. They moved her to MGH and cared for her, but she died three days later.
As part of Harvard University’s move of the medical school to embrace more research, the University opened the Collis P Huntington Memorial Hospital in March of 1912. Named after the man who built the Central Pacific Railroad, the hospital was created specifically for cancer research. Although it housed patients, they were there to be studied. Of course, they received the best treatment available, but the hospital was built on the principle of serving cancer researchers.
George found his research was gradually aligning more with the Huntington Hospital’s goals. He focused on blood, and one of the Huntington’s main research focal points was leukemia, a cancer of the blood. George’s spent more and more time at the Huntington Hospital (it was only 3 miles from MGH). Eventually, the director of the Huntington Hospital, Francis Peabody, asked him to move there full time.
George’s professional profile was growing in Boston. He was giving lectures to the second year students at Harvard Medical School. He served as the president of the Boylston Medical Society (1920). A wealthy donor, introduced to him by Dr Elliot Joslin, donated $1,000 to help support George’s research on pernicious anemia. George soon was spending less time performing his observations and more time managing and training students to take these observations.
In September of 1921, Francis Peabody announced that he was leaving his job as Chief of the Medical Service at Huntington Hospital in order to become the director of the new Thorndike Memorial Laboratory at the Boston City Hospital. George was quickly asked to take Dr Peabody’s place.
George was 35 years old. He was a leader among the new generation of physician scientists that were being produced across the country, thanks to the Flexner Report. He was now the medical director at a prestigious research hospital and on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School. And he was just diagnosed with diabetes. He probably would be dead within a few years.