She was hired sight unseen by Dr. Eugene Geiling, a renowned pharmacology professor at theUniversity of Chicago, because he read her name as Francis. When she got the acceptance letter, in 1936, she realized his mistake and asked a professor at McGill University whether she could accept the job.
Dr. Kelsey demanded better tests for thalidomide. She also distrusted Merrell, a company that had a history of confrontations with the F.D.A. She soon discovered that Kevadon had been linked in Europe with reports of nerve damage — reports the company had failed to provide her.“I had the feeling throughout the day,” she wrote after a meeting with company executives, “that they were at no time being wholly frank with me and that this attitude has obtained in all our conferences, etc., regarding this drug.”