Tag Archives: Nobel Prize

Theodor Kocher (1841-1917)

Emil Theodor Kocher. published in 1909 in Les Prix Nobel p. 66. Via Wikimedia. Theodor Kocher was the first surgeon to ever receive the Nobel Prize. He was born in 1841 in Bern, Switzerland, went to school there, and was first in his class. He studied medicine in Bern and graduated summa cum laude, then went […]

The first description of DNA: a six million dollar letter from Francis to Michael Crick

Marshall A. Lichtman  Rochester, New York, United States   Figure 1. The boyish appearing James Watson (left) and the Francis Crick with their three-dimensional model of DNA in their Cavendish Laboratory office at Cambridge University, United Kingdom. Circa 1953. Photo credit: A. Barrington Brown/Science Photo Library. Via the Rockefeller University Digital Commons. In the April […]

Deserving but unrecognized: the forty-first seat

Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   This gold medal is given to each laureate in literature. Each medal has one face that bears a profile of Alfred Nobel with his name and the date of his birth and death inscribed; the alternative side is unique to the discipline being honored. The medal […]

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 […]

Epidemic encephalitis lethargica

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Table 1. QUARANTINABLE DISEASES Cholera Diphtheria Infectious tuberculosis Plague Smallpox Yellow fever Viral hemorrhagic fevers Severe acute respiratory syndromes Influenza pandemic From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Legal authorities for isolation and quarantine. Source The pandemic Covid-19 infection, first reported from China in December 2019, reminds us […]

Albert Einstein headed off at the “Nobel pass” by Alvar Gullstrand

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, IL USA   Photograph of Albert Einstein in his office at the University of Berlin. c1920. Accessed via Wikimedia. Allvar Gullstrand. Unknown artist. The National Library of Medicine.  Allvar Gullstrand was a brilliant ophthalmologist and the second of eleven surgeons who have received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He was awarded […]

Karl Landsteiner and the discovery of blood groups

Safia Benaissa Mostganem, Algeria   Karl Landsteiner (1868–1943), Austrian pathologist, hematologist and serologist; discoverer of the blood groups. Albert Hilscher. circa 1910. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons Karl Landsteiner was the Austrian scientist who recognized that humans had different blood groups and made it possible for physicians to transfuse blood safely. He entered medical school at […]

Ludwik Hirszfeld: the story of one life that changed thousands of others

Paulina Kowalińska Wrocław, Poland   Ludwik Hirszfeld in 1916, during the Serbian war. Source: Wikimedia Commons. “To a far greater extent the group reactions have been used in forensic medicine for the purpose of establishing paternity. The possibility of arriving at decisions in such cases rests on the studies of the hereditary transmission of the […]

A history of blood transfusion: a confluence of science—in peace, in war, and in the laboratory

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts   Figure 1- Blood Transfusions -WWI East Sussex. Photo from Wellcome Images.  Accessed 10/15/2019. The rudimentary lights provided only dim illumination of the operative field. The three British army surgeons worked feverishly to save the life of the young soldier, Corporal Smith, who had a significant liver injury. He had […]

The Rh factor: An intertwined history

Paula Carter Chicago, Illinois   Lucy Reyburn Rittgers and two of her daughters, circa 1948. Source: Family photo In 1924, Lucy Reyburn gave birth to her first child, a daughter she named Darlene. Lucy lived in Iowa and the birth was an embarrassment. She had become pregnant and hurriedly married a man who left before […]