HDA Class of 2005
Rutgers College 1948
Louis Gluck is considered the father of neonatology, the science of caring for newborn infants. After serving in World War II, he completed his education at Rutgers, and then earned a medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1952. Gluck first began learning about the care and diseases of premature infants while at Babies Hospital of Columbia–Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. The notion of special newborn care was virtually nonexistent until Gluck was recruited as chief of neonatal medicine by Stanford University School of Medicine. His pioneering work led to new methods of disinfection that dramatically reduced the rate of staph infection in newborn nurseries. In 1960, Yale University asked him to develop an intensive and special care unit for premature infants. Within a few years, the concept became a standard feature in hospitals across the United States. In 1967, Gluck joined the University of California–San Diego, where he developed a test to predict the maturity of an unborn child's lungs through a sample of the mother's amniotic fluid. Gluck died in 1997.