As director of the Commission on Acute Respiratory Diseases, Armed Forces Epidemiological Board and as professor of preventive medicine, Western Reserve University School of Medicine, John Holmes Dingle conceived and carried forward a broad investigative program bearing on all aspects of acute infections of the respiratory tract, including influenza, pneumonia, and the common cold.
The critical and comprehensive studies that he initiated and guided were brought to effective conclusion by carefully selected and highly trained groups of investigators with widely diverse professional backgrounds and interests. No more thorough or systematic investigation of acute respiratory diseases has ever been undertaken and none has been more productive of new knowledge.
Throughout the last two decades, the work of Dr. Dingle and his colleagues has brought new understanding of several disease entities which previously were grouped together merely as undifferentiated acute respiratory infections. It has shed new and revealing light on the specific infections included in the syndromes designated as primary atypical pneumonia, acute respiratory disease, nonbacterial pharyngitis and the common cold. It has led to the development of effective prophylactic procedures which make feasible the prevention of some acute respiratory diseases and raise the possibility that others can be brought under control for the enduring benefit of mankind.