Clyde G. Culbertson


IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (1992)
Honorary Degree (1989)
Doctor of Science
Medical Res. & Library Dedication
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich
School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (1975)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Medicine
M.D., 1931


Clyde G. Culbertson was a medical educator and researcher who developed a process that enabled the Salk polio vaccine to be mass-produced. He helped oversee the development of vaccines and drugs in his 25 years at Eli Lilly & Company in Indianapolis, where he became the director of biological research. Besides his contribution to the Salk vaccine, Dr. Culbertson helped develop a safer rabies vaccine and the antibiotic erythromycin. He also discovered that nonparasitic amoeba can fatally infect the brains of humans. In honor of his accomplishments, one species, Acanthamoeba culbertsoni, was named for him.

He is the Professor. Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at IU, where he was affiliated with for decades. After graduating with his medical degree in 1931, Culbertson stayed on to organize and lead the IU School of Medicine's Central Laboratory. As part of Indiana's Executive Reorganization Act of 1933, the State Board of Health combined its laboratories with those of the university hospitals. Culbertson became director of the two laboratories. He later became chairman of the department of clinical pathology at IU.

Dr. Culbertson was the former president of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and a founding fellow of the College of American Pathologists. Dr. Culbertson continued to work until he retired in 1994.