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Harry Luman Russell | 1922

A charter member of the Society of American Bacteriologists, Russell pioneered bovine tuberculosis research in the West, advanced the commercial pasteurization of milk, and along with Stephen Babcock, developed the cold curing process for cheese. In addition, he diagnosed problems in vegetable canning, transforming industrial sterilization practices nationally.

1866-1954 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)



Impact & Accomplishments


Harry Luman Russell earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, his native state. He studied abroad, with Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, before earning his Ph.D. in bacteriology from Johns Hopkins University in 1892.


After one year of teaching at the University of Chicago, Dr. Russell returned to the University of Wisconsin, to organize a department of bacteriology. In 1903, Russell became director of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, and in 1907, was selected to succeed W. A. Henry as dean of the College of Agriculture. Russell pioneered bovine tuberculosis research in the West, advanced the commercial pasteurization of milk, and along with Stephen Babcock, developed the cold curing process for cheese. In addition, he diagnosed problems in vegetable canning, transforming industrial sterilization practices nationally.


Dean Russell organized the state’s agricultural extension program and served as president of the American Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities.


A charter member of the Society of American Bacteriologists, he was the organization’s president in 1908. The American Society of Animal Production promoted his induction into the Saddle & Sirloin Club gallery.


Did You Know?


University of Wisconsin bacteriologist Harry Luman Russell (circa 1910), worked with Stephen Babcock to develop the cold-curing process for ripening cheese, a technique that enabled Wisconsin to become the nation’s leading cheese producer. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel archives

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