Towson, Maryland, United States
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Chicago, Illinois, United States
University of Chicago
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Henry Phipps Institute, University of Pennsylvania
University of Uppsala
Seibert earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gaucher College in 1918, where she studied chemistry and zoology. Five years later she received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biochemistry from Yale University. During her doctoral research, she discovered that intravenous injections made with contaminated distilled water could cause fevers in patients and she invented a new distillation process that eliminated all bacteria.
Seibert began her career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute of the University of Chicago in 1923. A year later she took a position of a pathology instructor at the University of Chicago. Then in 1928, Florence became an assistant professor of biochemistry at the same university and held it for four years. During that time she met a biochemist Esmond R. Long, with whom she spent thirty-one years collaborating on tuberculosis research. Also Seibert's long-time associates was her younger sister, Mabel Seibert, who was Florence`s secretary and research assistant.
In addition, in 1932, she held a position of an assistant professor at Henry Phipps Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Five years later Seibert was appointed an associate professor and a professor of biochemistry in 1955 at the same institute. Since 1959, she was a professor emeritus at Henry Phipps Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. At that institute, Florence continued her study of tuberculin protein molecules and their use in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Seibert began working on the "old tuberculin" that had been created by German bacteriologist Robert Koch and used by doctors for skin testing.
Also she served as a Guggenheim fellow at the University of Uppsala in 1937-1938, where she worked with Nobel-prize winning protein scientist Theodor Svedberg. Florence spent a number of years developing methods for separating and purifying the protein from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, obtaining purified protein derivative (PPD) and enabling the creation of a reliable test for tuberculosis.
In addition, she served as a consultant to the United States Public Health Service and then as a director of the Cancer Research Laboratory at the Mound Park Hospital (now Bayfront Medical Center). During the last years of her life she focused on research examining the etiology of cancer, particularly cancers posing grave risk to women, including breast cancer.
Seibert contracted polio as a small child and lived for the rest of her life with a slight disability that affected the way she walked.
She enjoyed international travel as well as driving her car, which was especially equipped to compensate for her handicaps. Florence loved music and played the violin.
Florence Seibert never married and did not have children.