Tag Archives: nephrology

A brief history of kidney transplantation

Laura Carreras-Planella Marcella Franquesa Ricardo Lauzurica Francesc E. Borràs Barcelona, Spain   We may think of renal transplantation as routine therapy today, but this procedure has taken centuries to develop and is marked by important events in the history of science. An ancient description of the kidneys is found in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dated […]

Belding Scribner and his arteriovenous Teflon shunt

Belding Scribner. Photo by Kay Rodriguez. From University of Washington School of Medicine Online News Archive. Without Belding Scribner maintenance dialysis might have never happened. Although by 1960 the technology of hemodialysis had become quite advanced, and several types of dialyzers, notably the Kolff Twin Coil, had been successfully used, long-term access to the vascular system […]

Satoru Nakamoto

Of all the pioneers who made hemodialysis a reality, Satoru Nakamoto was the most humble and unassuming. He died in 2020 at the age of 92, almost forgotten by a generation that often takes the technical advances of dialysis for granted and rarely looks back on the people who made it possible. I had the […]

Unlikely pioneers in renal transplantation: The Little Company of Mary Sisters

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   The first kidney transplant was performed by Dr. Richard Lawler, Dr. James West, and Dr. Raymond Murphy at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park, IL. Photo courtesy of OSF Little Company of Mary Medical center.  Dr. Joseph Murray deservedly received the Nobel Prize in 1990 for his magnificent pioneering […]

Thomas Addis and his times

Thomas Addis. Stanford Medical History Center. Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Thomas Addis, one of the most prominent students of the kidney during the first half of the twentieth century, was born in Edinburgh in 1881.1-3 Recruited by Stanford Medical School University in 1911, he spent almost his entire academic life there. After a brief interest […]

Stanley Shaldon as I knew him

Stanley Shaldon. Photo by the author. Stanley Shaldon belonged to that first generation of nephrologists who made dialysis available at a time when uremia was a sentence of death. He was one of the bright young registrars whom Professor Sheila Sherlock took with her from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith to the Royal […]

Irvine H. Page M.D. 1901-1991

Earl Smith Chicago, Illinois, United States   Dr. Irvine Page and a lab tech at Cleveland Clinic in the 1960s. 1960s. Provided by Cleveland Clinic. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 4.0 Irvine Page was a physician scientist who discovered angiotensin and serotonin and proposed the multifactorial etiology of hypertension. He was a prolific medical […]

Saul Bellow visits a dialysis unit

The Dean’s December, published in 1982, is a highly autobiographical book written by Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow.1 It is about the experiences of a university Dean and is divided into two episodes.2 The first takes place in Bucharest, where the Dean visits his mother-in-law, once a prominent but now politically disgraced party member lying […]

Nils Alwall – one of the founding fathers of nephrology

Mårten Segelmark Lund, Sweden   Figure 1. Nils Alwall in 1965 with one of the first long-time survivors. (Picture archive of the South Swedish Society for History of Medicine) More than two million people suffering from kidney failure are currently being kept alive by dialysis. But when Nils Alwall was a young doctor eighty years […]

Scarred for life

Shanda McCutcheon Calgary, Alberta, Canada   Three Months Post Donation, Michael, his wife Rebecca and their two youngest children with Shanda (far right) Source: Personal photograph of author Most mornings I wake and it does not seem like it happened at all. Still half asleep, I step under the cascading waters of a warm shower […]