Dr. Florence Rena Sabin, Medical Doctor, Teacher, Researcher & Musician: Madeline’s Monthly Musical Tips Blog/Article for October 2022

October 2022 is the Fifteenth   Anniversary of  “Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show” and the Sixteenth Anniversary of “Madeline’s Monthly Musical Tips Blog/Article”. This month our Radio Show and blog celebrates the life and work of Dr. Florence Rena Sabin, Medical Doctor, researcher, professor, and musician.

Our article of the month is “Will the Real leaders Step Up?” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.  Also included is an article on “How Music Primes the Brain for Learning” by Holly Korbey.

Radio Show Feature Question for October 2022: How did Classical music play a part of Dr. Florence Rena Sabin’s life as a medical doctor, teacher, researcher, and musician and which musical instrument did she play?



Early Years: 

Florence Rena Sabin was born on November 9, 1871 in Central City, Colorado, the second daughter of George K. Sabin, a mining engineer and son of a country doctor, and Serena Miner Sabin, a schoolteacher. Their house had “no plumbing, no gas, and no electricity.”

Her mother died in childbirth when Florence was seven and Mary was 9. They grew up in Denver, in Chicago with their uncle Albert Sabin, and in Vermont with their paternal grandparents. They attended Vermont Academy, and “were encouraged to go on to college.”



Florence as a child was an excellent student in math, science, and in playing the piano. “Until high school she hoped for a career as a pianist. She directed her energies toward academic studies only after a classmate bluntly informed her that her musical talent was merely average.”

College & Medical School: 1889-1900

Florence Sabin and her sister Mary attended Smith College.  Florence “majored in zoology, and was encouraged by the college physician to study medicine at Johns Hopkins’ new co-educational medical school.”    While attending college, Florence tutored other students in mathematics.

Florence in 1893 earned her B.S. from Smith College. For the next three years she taught high school to earn enough to pay for her first year of medical school.

In 1896, Sabin entered the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 

She was “one of fourteen women in a class of forty-five. Her skill and originality in laboratory classes attracted the attention of anatomist Franklin P. Mall, one of Hopkins’ outstanding scientists. Mall became Sabin’s mentor, advocate, and intellectual role model, encouraging her pursuit of “pure”(rather than applied) science, and suggesting two projects which would help establish her research reputation. One of these was a three-dimensional model of a newborn baby’s brainstem, which became the basis of a widely used textbook, An Atlas of the Medulla and Midbrain, published in 1901. The other project was an investigation of the embryological development of the lymphatic system.”

After her internship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, “Dr. Sabin won a research fellowship from the Baltimore Association for the Promotion of University Education for Women, and subsequently published two well-received papers.”



John Hopkins Faculty 1902-1925: Researcher & Teacher

Dr. Sabin in 1902, “became the first woman faculty member at Johns Hopkins, teaching embryology and histology in the Department of Anatomy.” In 1905, “she was promoted to associate professor” and in 1917 to “full professor, becoming the first woman to hold that rank at Johns Hopkins.”

Dr. Sabin remained “on the faculty at Johns Hopkins until 1925, distinguished herself both as a researcher and a teacher. She did important work on the origins of the lymphatic system, demonstrating (by injecting colored substances into the lymphatic channels) that its structures were formed from the embryo’s veins rather than from other tissues, as other researchers believed. She also investigated the origins of blood vessels, blood cells, and connective tissue. To do this, she perfected the technique of supravital staining, which allowed the study of the living cells.”

 “In 1924, she became the first woman president of the American Association of Anatomists, and the next year, the first woman elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences.”

Dr. Sabin’s 2nd Career Working at Rockefeller Institute: 1925-1938

Simon Flexner, director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in 1923, invited Dr. Sanin “to join the Institute, and head its Department of Cellular Studies. She accepted his offer, and began her work there in 1925, the first woman to be appointed a full member at the Rockefeller Institute.”

Dr. Florence Sabin, M.D. accepting the Pictorial Review achievement award in 1929 and said, “I hope my studies may be an encouragement to other women, especially to young women, to devote their lives to the larger interests of the mind. It matters little whether men or women have the more brains; all we women need to do to exert our proper influence is just to use all the brains we have.”

Dr. Sabin at Rockefeller Institute “led research on the pathology of tuberculosis. During her thirteen years at Rockefeller” she studied ….”the immune system responses to various chemical fractions isolated from the tuberculosis bacteria.” She wrote a biography of her mentor, Franklin P. Mall between 1930 and 1934. (He had died in 1917.)



 Dr. Sabin’s Awards:

“In 1929 the popular magazine, Pictorial Review, gave her its Annual Achievement Award; a Good Housekeeping poll in 1931 selected her as one of the twelve most eminent American women; she received Chi Omega sorority’s National Achievement Award (1932), Bryn Mawr College’s M. Carey Thomas Prize (1935), and fifteen honorary doctorates. In 1945, she received the Trudeau Medal of the National Tuberculosis Association for her earlier work on that disease. In 1951, she received the Lasker Foundation’s Public Service Award for her public health work in Colorado. The same year, the Medical School of the University of Colorado dedicated a new biological science building in her honor. In 1959 the State of Colorado honored her by placing a statue of Sabin in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.”

Dr. Sabin’s colleagues, students and friends: 

Dr. Sabin was “praised her personal warmth, her professional and personal generosity, her infectious energy, curiosity, and passion for scientific investigation. Sabin’s correspondence reveals all these facets, as well as her love for classical music, philosophy, travel, good books, and memorable dinner parties.”

Dr. Sabin’s “publications include over 100 scientific papers, several book chapters, two books–her Atlas of the Medulla and Midbrain and her biography of Franklin Mall–and numerous presentations.”

Retiring from Rockefeller Institute & Moving back to Colorado:

Dr. Sabin retired in 1938 from the Rockefeller Institute. She moved to Colorado to live with her sister Mary who had “retired after a forty-year career as a mathematics teacher at Denver’s East High School” in Colorado.

Dr. Sabin “maintained a lively correspondence with her research colleagues, attended conferences, and served on various advisory and governing boards for organizations such as the Guggenheim Foundation.”

Dr. Sabin’s 3rd Career: Public Health in Colorado (1939-1951) Cleaning up Colorado:

Dr. Sabin discovered in her research that “people died in Colorado at twice the rate of other states. She visited all 63 counties in the state, learned about sewage dumped in rivers, unpasteurized milk, and rat infestations that all led to deadly diseases. She knew that the laws had to be changed to protect Coloradans. Her committee wrote a set of new health bills, collectively known as the Sabin Health Bills.”

Traveling throughout the state she told Coloradans “about the importance of these new health laws and why they needed to be passed. She used the slogan “Health to match our mountains” and convinced voters to fight ranchers and others who feared that the laws would increase their costs. In 1947, nearly all of the Sabin Health Bills passed.”

Denver Mayor Quigg Newton asked Dr. Sabin “to take a look at Denver’s health program and she gladly agreed.  She fought to increase trash pick-up, which would reduce the number of rats, and to teach food safety to restaurant employees studying at Emily Griffith Opportunity School . She also pushed for new quality standards for milk and a new sewage treatment plant. One of her most important contributions was a free X-ray program, which could detect tuberculosis in its early stages. These measures cut the rate of tuberculosis in Denver in half.”

Dr. Florence Rena Sabin was a Medical Doctor, anatomist, pioneering medical researcher, professor, first woman to hold a full professorship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and was a lifelong musician. She saved thousands of lives.  Dr. Florence Sabin died on October 3, 1953, in Denver, Colorado.

Will The Real Leaders Step Up?  by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

Real leaders are builders. They build relationships, build bridges, and make others stronger! The most recognized and acclaimed leaders realize the importance of effective communication and how that skillset is a cornerstone for “tuning in” to their team member’s needs, as well as the desires of their customers.

How do great leaders and communicators tap into the greatness of others? They master the art of being interested.  Everyone loves to talk about themselves. A great leader will inquire before they inspire. This is the “buy in” necessary for credibility.

Have you noticed when you give a person an honest sincere compliment they light up with huge smiles of happiness? They glow!

Conversely, constant criticism produces more mistakes and a poor morale.

Gordon Tredgold’s secret to empowering others: “Everything we do as leaders is magnified. Every compliment, nod of approval, and encouraging word is amplified and has the ability to inspire and drive our teams forward.  This is a fantastic creative power that enables us to move mountains and accomplish lofty targets. On the flip side, any negative feedback, no matter how trivial, is also amplified, such that even the smallest criticism can be felt like a stake through the heart.”

He continues, “So. imagine the impact of bigger criticisms and how much damage they can do, the stress that they create, which then goes on to hinder progress. The exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve.  We need to be very careful how we wield this power, which is both creative but also dangerously destructive.  As leaders, our goal is to create!”

A friend of mine and my family always talked about “Decent human behavior.”

Real leaders develop people to be the very best version of themselves. They realize that everyone is born with certain skills and limitations. Developing the best of the strengths and minimizing the limitations is essential for creating a culture that is committed to excellence.

Real leaders make their people stronger, build countries, build companies, build relationships and connect and communicate with others well!

Real leaders like President Ronald Regan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King were all able to paint a picture of what their audience was capable of. Whether they were marching in Selma, tearing down the Berlin Wall, or battling communism.

Great leaders like Lee Kwan Yew transformed Singapore from a tiny third world country into a first world economy by investing in education and empowering people.  Roberto Goizueta led and transformed a floundering Coca Cola to world-wide market dominance.  Alan Mulally led Boeing and Ford to success when all the “experts” said it couldn’t be done.  Douglas Conant transformed Campbell’s Soup Company from near bankruptcy to the thriving business we all know today.

Great leaders also EXPECT adversity. It is not if  you get knocked down…but when. Challenges and setbacks are woven into the fabric of a strong culture. How they choose to get back on track (or select a new track) is a crucial step in charting the course of your organization’s destiny.

First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, helped begin the Girl Scouts, organized a women’s division in the National Amateur Athletic Federation (physical fitness for girls and women), WW1 when America entered the war she mobilized American women to help with food conservation. She began making Nationwide radio broadcasts to help inspire the women of that era so they could do more and be more.

What can you do to grow your influence as a leader?

1)  Focus on serving others. Show respect, inspire, motivate, and encourage others to be the best version of themselves. Give others feedback, not unnecessary criticism, to foster a culture of warmth and happiness within your organization. Remember, Real leaders develop people.

2)   Ask questions about your team members and their families…and actually listen to the answers. Ask for your team members’ opinions and listen to their responses. Remind them that they are important to the company and are appreciated for their work.

3)   Share your knowledge and resources openly. Don’t hesitate to give your team members opportunities to learn and grow.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Real leaders share their gratitude with others! Real leaders are builders. They build relationships. They build bridges! They make others stronger! These leaders, these builders are the best communicators and build strong relationships and develop leaders. © 2022 Madeline Frank

If you need a speaker or virtual speaker contact Madeline at: [email protected]

“How Music Primes the Brain for Learning” (April 22, 2022) by Holly Korbey.

Ms. Korbev said, “To reap the benefits of music on learning, kids need consistent and abundant musical practice, according to the latest cognitive research. The key to understanding music’s advantages, researchers say, lies in how the brain processes sound, the raw material of music, language, and—perhaps counterintuitively—learning to read. The sounds that come in through our ears travel along an anatomically complex “auditory pathway” that’s deeply connected to parts of the brain that determine how humans move, how we think and speak, what we know, and what we pay attention to.”



“The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is available in book form, and newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook:

  “Musical Notes On Math” by Dr. Madeline Frank teaches your child fractions and decimals, the fun easy way, through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award is available in book form, newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook.:

 “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies- Music From around the World”. This CD complements her books with a blend of dance music, gigues, tangos, ballet and favorites including “Danny Boy”, Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”, Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” and others. “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” is music to relax by and to move by for music therapy.  “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” CD is now available for purchase by downloading a song, downloading the album, or by CD by clicking below:
Download Your Copy Today!  Amazon | iTunes |
Dr. Madeline Frank’s book “Leadership on a Shoestring Budget” is available through amazon. To order your copy as an e-book on Kindle click on the following link:


Wishing you and your family a happy October from Your Non-Invasive Medicine Music Expert, Madeline

For over 30 years, Dr. Madeline Frank has helped children and adults overcome problems through Classical music. Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award-winning teacher, an amazon.com best-selling author, researcher, speaker, conductor, and concert artist. She has discovered a scientific link between studying a musical instrument and academic and societal success. Madeline Frank earned her Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Her education has included scholarships at the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the University of Cincinnati and she has a violin performance diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts. (C) 2022 Madeline Frank.