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Mary B. Meyer was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Vassar College with an A.B. in 1937 and moved to Baltimore, where she taught at the Garrison Forest School. She took graduate courses in bacteriology at Johns Hopkins in the early 1940s and earned an Sc.M. degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1961. Meyer joined the department of epidemiology at the school of hygiene and public health in 1958 as an assistant and rose to assistant professor in 1967. She was promoted to associate professor in 1973. Meyer carried out a number of studies on pregnancy, including several on the ways in which prenatal exposure to radiation affects the development and fertility of human fetuses. Her best-known work was on the effects of smoking during pregnancy.

Scope and Content

The Mary B. Meyer Collection spans the majority of her career at Johns Hopkins. It contains correspondence, lectures, manuscripts, scientific notes, course notes, study data, slides, and reprints. The reprints comprise about half of the collection. Meyer’s major research interests included the study of cigarette smoking, radiation, lung and stomach cancer, and diabetes. This collection is an important resource for the study of maternal and child health in the mid-twentieth century.

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