March 23, 2014

Trudeau to feature in biography, documentary

SARANAC LAKE — A new documentary will help tell the story of Trudeau’s place in medical history.

The New York City man came to the Adirondacks in 1873 initially to cure himself of tuberculosis; the popular treatment then was time spent resting in the fresh, open air.

In 1884, he established what was first called the Saranac Laboratory for the Study of Tuberculosis — the first TB lab in the United States, working specifically to study and ultimately find a cure.

Trudeau Institute and Historic Saranac Lake announced the project in anticipation of World TB Day, set for Monday, along with a biography on the works of the man, both helping to put the search for a cure for TB in perspective.


Trudeau Institute is a biomedical research facility working on finding medicine to eradicate TB and other infectious diseases. The bio-research center was built from the early laboratory work by Trudeau in the late 19th century.

His first laboratory building in the village nearby is maintained as a historic site by Historic Saranac Lake.

Historian Mary Hotaling, who helped found Historic Saranac Lake and preserve the story of early TB patients who “took the cure” in this region, is working with Adirondack Museum historian Caroline Welsh on the biography.

The work is due out in 2015, the centennial anniversary of his death.

“The new biography, ‘A Rare Romance in Medicine: The Life and Legacy of Edward Livingston Trudeau,’ is based on the beloved physician’s ‘An Autobiography’ (published posthumously in 1915) and will set Dr. Trudeau’s life and contributions into the larger context of his times,” Trudeau Institute spokeswoman Kim Godreau said in a news release.

The final chapter will be written by Dr. Andrea Cooper, who is the Francis B. Trudeau chairwoman in TB and related research at the Institute now.

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