CWRU School of Medicine :: Medical Firsts

* 1905 Development of the modern technique for human blood transfusion using a cannula to connect blood vessels by surgeon George Crile
* 1912 Pioneering the process of chlorinating drinking water by Professor Roger Perkins
* 1915 First simulated milk formula for infants, by alumnus and pediatrics professor Henry Gerstenberger
* 1927 Discovery of the cause of ptomaine food poisoning and development of an antiserum by immunologist Enrique Ecker and colleagues

* 1935 First surgical treatment of coronary artery disease by Professor Claude Beck

* 1950s Development of the first heart-lung machine for use in open heart surgeries by Professor Frederick Cross
* 1961 First successful genetic alteration of human cells in a test tube by Professor Austin Weisburger
* 1969 William Insull, M.D., describes the role of cholesterol in blood vessel disease
* 1975 Discovery that human rennin, an enzyme produced by the kidney, is involved in hypertension
* 1990 Discovery of the gene for osteoarthritis by a national team led by rheumatologist Roland Moskowitz
* 1991 First triple organ transplant in Ohio-a kidney, liver and pancreas-by James A. Schulak, M.D., and colleagues
* 1997 Creation of the world’s first artificial human chromosome by a team led by Professor Huntington Willard

Additional medical firsts include:

* First large-scale medical research project on humans in a study linking iodine with goiter prevention
* Discovery of early treatment of strep throat infections to prevent rheumatic fever
* Discovery of the Hageman factor in blood clotting, a major discovery in blood coagulation research
* First description of how staphylococcus infections were transmitted, leading to required hand-washing between patients in infant nurseries
* First description of what was later named Reye’s syndrome
* Research leading to FDA approval of clozapine, the most advanced treatment for schizophrenia at the time

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