Grace Ederer begins her interview with a description of her upbringing, her education, and her decision to enter the field of medical technology. She then recalls the early stages of her career and her work at the University of Minnesota from 1952 to 1982. Ederer describes the role of women in medical technology, the building of the new medical sciences building, and Dr. Gerald T. Evans’ efforts to reorganize the clinical laboratories and medical technology to integrate them into the Medical School. Ederer also discusses her decision to adopt a dog that had been used in experiments conducted C. Walton Lillehei on hypothermia in open-heart surgery. She goes on to describe her changing positions at the University, her teaching, her research, and her pursuit of a master’s in public health. She also talks about her interactions with Dr. Evans, Dr. Ellis Benson, and Dr. Lillehei. She then discusses the Medical Technology Program, her work with Barbara Tucker on laboratory safety and ethics, her work with Ruth Hovde and Verna Rausch, the changing curriculum, dealing with the high volume of lab work, working with graduate students, her experiences with Robert Howard, and efforts to establish a school of Allied Health Sciences.
Grace Ederer was born on June 27, 1919 in southwestern, rural Minnesota. She attended the College of St. Catherine in Saint Paul Minnesota, majoring in biology and graduating with a BS in 1941. From 1941 to 1942, Ederer attended the School of Medical Technology in Detroit, Michigan, part of Detroit’s Providence Hospital. She then worked in chemistry a chemistry laboratory at the Henry Ford Hospital for two years. As part of the war effort, she returned to the College of St. Catherine to teach chemistry lab courses to cadet nurses. Through a family friend, Ederer heard about an opportunity at Northwestern Hospital, which later merged with Abbott, to build up a microbiology lab. Ederer pursued the job and spent the next twelve years at Northwestern Hospital building a reputable microbiology lab. Tiring of her Bunsen burner, Ederer joined the University of Minnesota in the University Hospital as an administrator of the clinical laboratories, a position she held from 1952 to 1963. During her time at the University, Ederer earned her masters in public health in 1962. After spending fifteen years as administrator of clinical laboratories, she took a new position as assistant to the director of clinical laboratories in the microbiology area of the Division of Medical Technology and became an assistant professor. She became an associate professor in 1967, serving in that position until her retirement in 1982.
Hagens, Emily; Ederer, Grace M..
Interview with Grace Ederer.
University of Minnesota.
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