Who developed a test for syphilis?
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William Augustus Hinton (1883–1959) was the first black professor at Harvard Medical School. A world-renowned bacteriologist, he developed the Hinton test for syphilis and the Davis-Hinton tests for blood and spinal fluid. His book Syphilis and Its Treatment (1936) became an authoritative reference work. Born in Chicago, the son of former slaves, he grew up in Kansas and later taught school in Nashville, Tennessee, and Langston, Oklahoma. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1905 from Harvard College and his medical degree in 1912 from Harvard Medical School. He became an instructor of preventive medicine at Harvard in 1912, and continued there until his retirement in 1950. He was promoted to the rank of clinical professor in 1949. Hinton directed the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Wassermann Laboratory from its establishment in 1915 until 1954.