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Michael Lesch was born in Queens, New York. He earned a B.A. from Columbia University in 1960 and a M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1964. After completing a residency in medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Lesch did a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1968, he entered a cardiology fellowship program at Peter Brent Brigham Hospital and moved through the academic ranks to associate professor. Lesch was named chief of cardiology at Northwestern University Medical School in 1976. He became department of medicine chairman of the Henry Ford Hospital and Health System in 1989. Lesch returned to New York City in 1998 to become the chief of internal medicine at St.Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital as well as a professor of medicine at Columbia University. Lesch is best known for the study a self-mutilation disorder(Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome) while a medical student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine which bears his name and the name of his mentor, William Nyhan.

Scope and Content

The Michael Lesch Collection consists of some personal material related to his time as a medical student (1960-1964). Most noteworthy in the collection is a set of 5 research books which documents the original research of a self-mutilation disorder studied by Michael Lesch and William Nyhan. Their discovery led to the naming of the disorder as the Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome.

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