Sea View Hospital on Staten Island

In a time when New York’s hospitals and research institutions are under significant pressure to treat sick patients and discover new vaccines and solutions to the coronavirus crisis, it is worth applauding the groundbreaking medical discoveries made in New York City that changed modern medicine forever. From detecting cervical cancer to identifying cystic fibrosis to showing that DNA serves as genetic material, New York City has paved the way for future research which saves the lives of thousands of people yearly.

Perhaps the vaccine for coronavirus will be discovered here. Multiple drug trials are underway in New York, the hardest hit state – including using antibody injections and combinations of existing drugs, tests to identify those with antibodies, and work is ongoing on a serological drug.  Special thanks to the New York Academy of Medicine for their help with this article!

1. The Cure for Tuberculosis

Sea View Tuberculosis PavilionFormer tuberculosis pavilion in Seaview Hospital

Seaview Hospital was once the largest tuberculosis sanatorium in the country, now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is also a U.S. Historic District and New York City landmark. Opened in 1913, the hospital was designed by Raymond F. Allmiral reflecting the latest in thought about the treatment of tuberculosis, including light, cross-ventilation, access to the outdoors, and thought towards medical operational efficiency. At the time, fresh air, rest and a nutritious diet were the only prescribed treatments. At its opening, The New York Times declared Seaview “the largest and finest hospital ever built for the care and treatment of those who suffer from tuberculosis in any form.”

Sea View hospital was the site of the first clinical trials for hydrazides treatments, which ultimately led to the discovery of the cure of the disease in 1957. The tuberculosis hospital gradually ceased operations in the late 1950’s after the cure was discovered, and currently functions as a long term care facility.

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