Arno B. Luckhardt

13th APS President (1932-1934)
Arno B. Luckhardt

The major events of Arno B. Luckhardt's term as president of APS were the creation in 1933 of the Board of Publication Trustees to oversee the management of the Society's journals and the initiation of formal review procedures for manuscripts submitted for publication in the American Journal of Physiology. Previously the managing editor, Hooker accepted articles on his sole authority; in 1933 for the first time all articles were to be submitted for review by a Board of Editors.

Born in Chicago, Luckhardt spent his entire professional career at the University of Chicago. He received his B.S. (1906) and Ph.D. (1911) degrees from the University of Chicago and an M.D. degree from the associated Rush Medical College (1912). He joined the Department of Physiology in 1909 and eventually became William Beaumont Distinguished Service Professor. He retired in 1950. As an investigator he is most remembered for his demonstration of the anesthetic value of ethylene gas and his perfection of the technique in practical surgery. Also of clinical importance was his demonstration that after complete parathyroidectomy animals could be maintained alive by administration of organic calcium salts. Other research themes included studies of gastric motility, gastric and pancreatic secretion, parathyroid physiology, general and local anesthetics, the visceral sensory nervous system, and respiratory physiology.

Luckhardt was elected to APS in 1911 and served as secretary from 1930 to 1932 just before his term as president. He was a long-time member of Council (1923-24, 1927-29, and 1930-42). In addition to his scientific work and his excellent reputation as a teacher, Luckhardt was an avid book collector and an enthusiastic historian of physiology. A recognized expert on the subject of William Beaumont and a collector of Beaumontiana, he presented to the Society an oil sketch by Dean Cornwell of his well-known painting of Beaumont and St. Martin. This painting now hangs in the headquarters of the Federation, Beaumont House. The APS archives is fortunate to have a complete scrapbook compiled by Luckhardt of the 1939 annual meeting in Toronto dedicated to the use of the historian of 1989.

Selected Publications

1. Anonymous. Arno Benedict Luckhardt, 1885-1957. Physiologist 13: 1-2, 1970.

2. Howell, W. H., and C. W. Greene. History of the American Physiological Society Semicentennial, 1887-1937. Baltimore, MD: Am. Physiol. Soc., 1938, p. 146-147.

3. McLean, F. C. Arno B. Luckhardt, physiologist. Science 127: 509, 1958.