Lydia B. Edwards, MD
At the end of World War II, Lydia Edwards worked with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency in devastated areas of Europe, and participated in the International Tuberculosis Campaign, the first international disease control effort of the World Health Organization. It succeeded in tuberculin testing and administering BCG vaccine to millions of children in impoverished areas of Europe and Africa. She eventually was assigned to the WHO Tuberculosis Research Office to train vaccination teams and to conduct evaluative research.
As a medical officer in the research section of the division of tuberculosis control of the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Edwards directed a combined research and disease control project with the U.S. Navy. More than one million recruits were skin-tested with tuberculin and three other mycobacterial or fungal antigens and were followed to determine their subsequent tuberculosis experience.
Dr. Edwards was responsible for the thoroughness of this monumental project, which was unparalleled in public health research, and for its presentation to the medical community through extensive papers and presentations at scientific meetings.