Adamadia Deforest (March 14, 2012)
Dr. Adamadia Deforest, 78, formerly of Wyndmoor, died peacefully on March 14, 2012, at Meadowood at Worcester in Worcester, PA following an extended illness. Ada, as she was known by her many friends and colleagues, was born in Harrisburg, PA on July 16, 1933. She was the daughter of the late Theodore and Laura Davis Deforest, and the sister of the late Marina Deforest Ritter.
Ada graduated from John Harris High School in Harrisburg, earned a BA from Hood College, MS from Washington State University and a PhD from Temple University. She was an instructor of Microbiology at Temple University School of Medicine from 1967-1997, while simultaneously holding the position of Chief of the Virology Section, Department of Laboratory Medicine, at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children from 1968-1999. Ada Deforest, Ph.D. was entrusted with the mission of establishing a virology laboratory at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and answered the call by developing a superb diagnostic laboratory. To date, this laboratory is still the only clinical virology laboratory at Drexel University and it’s predecessors with which St. Christopher’s was affiliated over the years.
Ada was active in teaching and research, and she believed a children’s hospital had to have a laboratory on site to better serve its patients, educate physicians and medical students, and advance the fields of viral diagnostics, antiviral therapy and vaccination, all areas in which she was a leader. She was a principal investigator on many grants and contracts from the NIH and CDC, and the CDC adopted her laboratory as the preferred vaccine serology site for many of their most pivotal studies. She was instrumental in demonstrating the safety and efficacy of simultaneous administration of MMR with DPT booster and oral polio vaccines, and the effect of breast feeding on the antibody response to trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine, studies that were the basis for the policy of universal immunization of infants and eradication of polio in the U.S. Ada was the author or co-author of over 50 journal articles and presented over 91 abstracts.
Ada served as Secretary of the Safety Committee Governing Council, American Public Health Association, the Governing Council of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology and as a representative of the APHA to the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards. Ada received the Difcon Award from the American Public Health Association in 1989, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Hood College in 1990, and was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology in 1991.
Ada is survived by her niece, Stephanie ritter augusto (Jorge) and her two great nieces, Corinne and Helena Augusto of Camp Hill, PA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Meadowood Benevolence Fund, 3205 Skippack Pike, PA Box 670, Worcester, PA 19490 or the Montgomery County SPCA, 19 E. Ridge Pike, PO Box 222, Conshohocken, PA 19428.