Tag Archives: George Dunea

Sympathectomy for hypertension

Components of the sympathetic trunk. Redrawn from Wolf-Heidegger’s Atlas of Human Anatomy. From Anatomic Origin and Molecular Genetics in Neuroblastoma. CC BY 3.0. Sympathectomy for essential hypertension was introduced in the late 1920s at a time when no effective medical treatment was available. It consisted of resecting several sympathetic neurons that exit the spinal cord […]

Indo-Europeans and medical terms

William Jones by John Linnell (1792-1882) after the original of Joshua Reynolds. Via Wikimedia. Somewhere around 3,000 to 7,000 years ago there lived in the steppes of southern Ukraine, or perhaps in northern Anatolia, a group of people whom we now call Indo-European but about whom we know very little. They left a few burial […]

Walter Kempner (1903–1997) and his rice diet

Photo of Walter Kempner. Source. Walter Kempner, the doctor with the thick German accent who came to America to escape from the Nazis, was born in 1903. Son of two bacteriologists who had both worked on tuberculosis, he graduated in medicine from the  University of Heidelberg in 1928 and subsequently worked there and in Berlin. When […]

Harry Goldblatt and the kidney

Dr. Harry Goldblatt. 1964. Via the National Library of Medicine. In 1928 Dr. Harry Goldblatt applied silver clamps experimentally to the renal arteries of dogs and observed a significant and sustained rise in blood pressure. His main interest as a researcher was to find a cause for hypertension, a disease for which effective treatment was […]

The hectic life of Leonardo Fioravanti

Leonardo Fioravanti. Via Wikimedia. The first part of Leonardo Fioravanti’s life was uneventful; the second was tumultuous.1 Born in Bologna in 1517,1-4 he was fortunate in 1527 to survive a violent epidemic that may have been typhus. At age sixteen he began to study medicine, probably as an indentured apprentice to a barber-surgeon. At twenty-two […]

The revolution of Abraham Flexner and its aftermath

Picture of Abraham Flexner. From The World’s Work, 1910, by W. M. Hollinger. Via Wikimedia. Unlike his brother Simon, who became a celebrated infectious diseases specialist and director of the Rockefeller Institute, Abraham Flexner was mainly interested in culture and education. He also grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, where his father had ended up after […]

Simon Flexner, infectious diseases pioneer

Simon Flexner. circa 1930s. Courtesy of the Rockefeller Archive Center. Source, Infectious diseases shaped the life of Simon Flexner, who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most successful and prominent scientists in American medicine. His contributions to the field of infectious diseases were legion. He became the first chairman of pathology at […]

Girolamo Cardano: Renaissance physician and polymath

Born at Pavia in the duchy of Lombardy in 1501, Girolamo Cardano practiced medicine for fifty years but is remembered chiefly as a polymath. He composed 200 works, made important contributions to mathematics and algebra, invented several mechanical devices (some still in use today), and published extensive philosophical tracts and commentaries on the ancient philosophers […]

Botulism: from pork sausages to Botox

Justinus Kerner in old age, taken a few years before his death. circa 1860. Taken by Friedrich Brandseph. Scanned from Klaus Günzel: Die deutschen Romantiker. Via Wikimedia. Of the various kinds of food poisoning that afflict mankind, botulism is the most dangerous. It has likely occurred for many centuries, as shown by sundry dietary laws […]


ASPECTS OF ANTON CHEKHOV Published in October, 2020 H E K T O R A M A   .     THE EDUCATION OF DOCTOR CHEKHOV       Chekhov was neither an academic star, nor a social standout. There were, however, two areas in which he excelled. The first was his ability to listen […]